Budget and spring statement will take £28 billion from women, Labour says

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch said she did not recognise Labour’s figures.

Ben Hatton
Wednesday 30 March 2022 14:19
Models of men and women on a pile of coins and bank note (Joe Giddens/PA)
Models of men and women on a pile of coins and bank note (Joe Giddens/PA)

Labour said policies in the autumn budget and spring statement will take the equivalent of £1,000 from every woman in the country over the next six years.

But 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”.

Speaking during equalities questions in the House of Commons, Labour shadow women and equalities secretary Anneliese Dodds said: “Women are bearing the brunt of the Conservative cost of living crisis.

“At the sharp end, as the Women’s Budget Group has said, they are the shock absorbers of poverty, cutting essentials for themselves so their kids don’t go without.”

She added: “Put together the 2021 autumn budget and the 2022 spring statement take £28 billion from the pockets of women over the next six years.

“That’s £1,000 for every woman in the country.”

Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch (House of Commons/PA)

Equalities minister Kemi Badenoch replied: “I simply don’t recognise the figures which the honourable lady is putting forward.

“It is not right to say that we are taking money out of the pockets of women.

“We have put forward a spring statement and a financial package that is looking after the interests of everyone in this country because we look after people irrespective of their sex or gender, their race, and we look at people based on socioeconomic characteristics in particular, and those who are most vulnerable or disadvantaged.”

Elsewhere in the session, the Government said it remains “wholly committed” to bringing forward proposals to ban conversion therapy practices and work is “progressing at pace”.

Equalities minister Mike Freer said: “We remain wholly committed to bringing forward proposals to ban conversion therapy practices.

“We recently concluded a consultation period and those proposals are being analysed, on which we will be developing legislation being brought forward later this spring.”

Labour’s Andrew Gwynne (Denton and Reddish) asked: “It’s two months now since the consultation into banning conversion therapy closed.

“It’s almost three years since the Government made the pledge to ban this insidious practice.

“Why is it taking so long?”

Mr Freer responded: “I held the first Westminster Hall debate on this subject in 2015 and I have to tell (him) if it was easy governments would have done it before, so have taken time to analyse the results.

“We’ve had a significant response, it’s important we get this right, and that’s why we are analysing the significant response and bringing forward the legislation later this spring.”

He added: “The Government remains committed to bringing forward the legislation.

“It is a matter for business managers as to when the exact parliamentary slot is brought forward, but a Bill team has been stood up and we are progressing at pace.”

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