Mothers will be £13bn worse off under the current Government as a result of policies announced over the past year, according to a new analysis.
Labour described the figures – produced by the House of Commons Library – as a “disgrace”, saying mothers played a key role in society but had been hit with a “stonking great bill”.
The research looked at the effects on women with dependent children of a number of changes announced by Chancellor George Osborne, since last year’s general election.
It found that cuts to universal credit, the four-year freeze on child benefit and other welfare payments, reductions in housing benefit and other policies outweighed increases to the personal income tax allowance and extra money for childcare.
The overall impact meant mothers will be £13bn worse off over the course of the current parliament, from last year until 2020. The Labour MP Yvette Cooper, who commissioned the research, said: “These figures are a disgrace. On Mother’s Day, the whole country celebrates just how much mums do to hold families together, communities together and even hold our economy together too.
“Yet what thanks do mums get from George Osborne and David Cameron? Only a stonking great £13bn bill.”
Last month the Children’s Society urged the Government to reconsider the benefits freeze if ministers were “genuinely concerned about child poverty”.
UK news in pictures
UK news in pictures
1/20 25 June 2017
More than 100,000 people bowed in prayer in Birmingham’s Small Heath park at the start of Eid al-Fitr on Sunday amid heightened security, with armed police present for the first time in the seven-year history of the Celebrate Eid festival
2/20 24 June 2017
Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn addresses revellers from the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm in Somerset during the Glastonbury Festival
3/20 23 June 2017
British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses a news conference at the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, June 23, 2017
4/20 22 June 2017
Cosplay fans (L-R) George Massingham, Abbey Forbes and Karolina Goralik travel by tube dressed in Harry Potter themed costumes, after a visit to one the literary franchise's movie filming locations at Leadenhall Market in London, Britain
5/20 22 June 2017
Racegoers cheer on their horse on Ladies Day at the Royal Ascot horse racing meet, in Ascot, west of London
6/20 21 June 2017
A reveller walks among the tipi tents at the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm near the village of Pilton in Somerset, South West England
7/20 20 June 2017
A police officer lays some flowers passed over by a member of the public, close to Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, after one man died and eight people were taken to hospital and a person arrested after a rental van struck pedestrian
The Borough Market bell is seen in Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
Two women embrace in Borough Market, which officially re-opens today following the recent attack, in central London
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan attends the re-opening of Borough market in central London following the June 3 terror attack
People walk through Borough Market in central London following its re-opening after the June 3 terror attack
News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch, with one of his daughters, visit Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack
A woman reacts in front of a wall of messages in Borough Market, which officially re-opened today following the recent attack, in central London
Vivenne Westwood walks the runway at the Vivenne Westwood show during the London Fashion Week Men's June 2017 collections
Millwall fan and London Bridge hero Roy Larner on 'Good Morning Britain'
Richard Arnold, Roy Larner, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid on 'Good Morning Britain'
17/20 11 June 2017
England players celebrate after defeating Venezuela 1-0 to win the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Korea 2017 at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea
18/20 11 June 2017
England players celebrate with the trophy after the final match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2017 between Venezuela and England at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Suwon, South Korea
19/20 11 June 2017
Great Britain's Alistair Brownlee celebrates winning the Elite Men Columbia Threadneedle World Triathlon Leeds
Danny Lawson/PA Wire
20/20 11 June 2017
Two men drink beer outside the Southwark Tavern which reopened for business today next to an entrance to Borough Market which remains closed in London
The charity calculated that a 23-year-old single mother, who works as a primary school teacher and rents her home, would be more than £2,800 a year worse off as a result of the changes. And a nurse and her partner, living in a rented house in London with three children, would be £5,100 a year worse off.
In a report, the society found that seven million children in low-income families would be affected by the four-year benefits freeze, while others would be pushed into poverty as a result.
A government spokesperson said: “We are determined to deliver a new settlement for the British people, one that will create a higher wage, lower tax and lower welfare economy.
“The reality is that our welfare reforms are helping more people into work and offering a strong safety net for those who can't.
“With a record number of women in work, our reforms to extend free childcare and flexible working are giving more women the security of a regular wage with the National Living Wage set to boost pay even further."
Responding to the Children’s Society report last month, the Department for Work and Pensions said: “We are bringing welfare spending under control, while – crucially – helping people into work, and through universal credit helping them to earn more.”
Departments are still waiting to hear what they are likely to get in the Budget, but the Department for Education is hopeful that plans to alter the funding formula for schools will be revealed before Mr Osborne’s political showpiece. A consultation on what is known as a “fairer funding” formula is planned shortly, so that it can be in place by 2016-17.
Many London boroughs have received additional funding for years, because the previous Labour government was keen to help struggling pupils in the capital catch up with those elsewhere in the country. London Councils, which represents the capital’s local authorities, has estimated that changes could slash school budgets in some areas by 14 per cent, but Tory MPs have been frustrated that schools in their shire constituencies have been relatively underfunded.
The consultation is likely to recommend phasing in the changes so that angry London head teachers do not suffer immediate large cuts.Reuse content