Budget worse for women, warns union
The emergency Budget will hit women more than men because they will be affected most by public sector cuts and reductions in benefits and tax credits, the country's biggest union has said.
Unite said two thirds of public sector workers are women, while they also use the services more and have a bigger share of their income made up of benefits and tax credits.
A joint study with the United Steel Workers in Canada showed public sector spending cuts in Canada in the 1990s hit the most vulnerable, with the burden falling hardest on women, said Unite.
Gail Cartmail, Unite's assistant general secretary, said: "The experience of women in Canada during the debt reduction programme engineered by Paul Martin as finance minister resulted in women paying the price for the deep and permanent cuts to social programmes and public services.
"In Canada, as in much of the world, carers tend to be women. They are largely responsible for unpaid labour for services that were part of the spending cuts. Women were forced to keep working more to make ends meet as fewer services were publicly funded, and where the basics grew more costly.
"Now the UK's ConDem Government wants to make cuts twice as tough as those made by Canada. The plans to gut the social programmes which women depend on for themselves and their families will be deeply felt and the cost to working families will be devastating.
"By hitting the purse in the brutal pursuit of ideologically driven cuts the result will be a widening of the inequality gap and reducing more women to poverty."