Today marks International Women’s Day. Since the United Nations began making it in 1975, the 8th of March has become an annual opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of woman around the world, and the many contributions that we make to public and private lives.
There are so many who have done so much, yet so much still remains to be done. This is especially true in the developing world, but also in the West and here in the UK. Women in London, for instance, get a raw deal. Childcare is 35 per cent more expensive in London. The gender gap is wider than elsewhere in the UK. Housing is more expensive than the UK average.
The government is making things even worse, with austerity disporportionately hitting women and those with families.
The Tories are giving a tax cut to millionaires at the same time as thousands of new mums will face yet another blow to family budgets. David Cameron promised to lead the most family-friendly Government ever. But since the Tories came to power new mums have been amongst the hardest hit by the coalition’s tax and benefit changes. From April this year, the Government will restrict Statutory Maternity Pay to a 1 per cent annual increase. By 2015, this real terms cut in maternity pay will effectively be a £180 ‘Mummy Tax’ on working women – and it’s on top of a series of additional cuts being faced by new mums.
Mums shouldn’t pay the price for Tory economic failure.