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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

CCHQ Women Event 
I came across "the Impact on Women of the Budget 2011" produced by the UK Women's Budget Group April 2011 in partnership with Fawcett Society. On reflection it covers a range of areas on economic inequality of women in thematic areas such as employment, investments, apprenticeships, tax breaks and the economic strategy. Have we progressed a year on?


The budget was targeting working families, yet I read articles on Granny Tax, the 50p tax rate reduction and some revisions to the child benefit proposals which was positively welcomed, coming into affect from January 2013. I was pleased with the impact assessment carried out by the UK Women's Budget Group, for full details read the paper below. The government may be listening after all.


http://www.wbg.org.uk/index_7_282363355.pdf


We are aware of the unfortunate circumstances; women have been affected during this period of austerity because of the public sector roles they are in, child care provision and increasing costs of household budgets, reduction in hours and increase in fuel prices. However I also hear success stories of women start up businesses due to lack of employment, gaining new skills. These group of women want to make a difference to their families whilst securing economic stability.


CHILD BENEFIT- THE REAL VALUE.


Very pleased with a rethink to the child benefit proposal but totally agree that very high rate tax earners should have a choice to decline the benefit; universal benefits work only if there is a need particularly in child benefit where it is not capped. The withdrawal of the proposed original changes to affect one higher rate tax earner will now ensure 750,000 families retain some or all of the child benefit, 90% of families will still keep the benefit without any change.


George Osborne's budget announcement on reducing a gradual scale of child benefit to higher tax rate earners above £50,000 to avoid the cliff edge was appropriate. It is always difficult for a Chancellor to come out with ideas that support women as we are trying to create growth and economic change which affects all including women.


The WBG pre budget 2012 is another worthy read, attempted to provide recommendations to balance women during this period, child benefit like child tax credits featured.


http://wbg.org.uk/pdfs/WBG-pre-budget-FINAL.pdf

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