The Chancellor’s measures could leave female pensioners an average of £2,500 worse off than they would have been over the next five years.
Image: via REUTERS)
Rishi Sunak has been accused of “raiding women’s pockets”, as his measures could leave women £1000 worse off.
The combined impact of the Chancellor’s high-tax, low-growth policies announced at last autumn’s Budget and last week’s Spring Statement will cost all 28 million women across the country more than £28 billion over the next six years from 2021/22 until 2026/27, Labour claims.
Mr Sunak’s raid on women’s finances could also leave female pensioners an average of £2,500 worse off than they would have been over the next five years,.
Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch said she did not recognise Labour’s figures, and said “it is not right to say that we are taking money out of the pockets of women” as the spring sttement looked after the “interests of everyone”.
But Shadow Women and Equalities Secretary Anneliese Dodds has said: “Instead of listening to Labour and providing real help to women and their families, Rishi Sunak’s multi-billion-pound raid on women’s pockets will leave millions feeling the pinch as the cost of living crisis continues to grow.
“Mums across the country are already skipping meals so that their children don’t go without. Now women will see their incomes plummeting by £1,000 thanks to this high-tax, low-growth Conservative Government.
“Labour would give women the security they deserve by cutting £200 off energy bills for most households – and up to £600 for those who need it most – paid for with a windfall tax on soaring oil and gas profits.”
The Resolution Foundation and Institute for Fiscal Studies think tanks said the Chancellor could have done more to protect those hit hardest by rising costs.
Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank, said: “I was very surprised that the Chancellor had chosen the overall package he had when it came to what was on offer for lower-income households.”
He pointed out that lower-income households will feel the pressure from rising energy bills – which is driving inflation.
It comes after the think-rank revealed more than one million Britons will be left on the verge of absolute poverty.
In his Commons statement, Mr Sunak announced a 5p cut in fuel duty and an increase in the threshold at which people pay national insurance contributions, benefiting around 30 million workers with a tax cut worth more than £330.
He promised further support in 2024 with a pledge to cut the basic rate of income tax from 20p in the pound to 19p – “a £5 billion tax cut for over 30 million people”.
But Mr Sunak’s measures do not meet the scale of the cost-of-living squeeze.