Posts Tagged ‘gender pay gap’

Mind the pay-gap: Lib Dem chutzpah’s not enough

04/01/2011, 07:00:55 AM

by James Watkins

To be fair, it took some chutzpah. At the Lib Dem conference in September, the equalities minister, Lynne Featherstone, declared that it was time for “a new politics which has equality at its heart”. She continued that there would be “an equality for the future which is driven by the liberal principles of the past”. And, in a particularly impassioned part of the speech, delegates were urged to watch the film Made in Dagenham. And while watching to reflect on “the women to whom equality in the workplace is still a pipe dream”.

One of the last great acts of the Labour government was to require businesses employing 250 or more people to undertake gender pay audits from 2013. However, the minister has said, “We want to move away from the arrogant notion of government knowing best to one where government empowers individuals, businesses and communities to make change happen”.

With this strange policy contortion – of condemning the gender pay-gap but not wanting to get the facts – the “equality of the future” seems to have slipped away to a parallel universe. (more…)

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This Tory-Lib Dem government is particularly clobbering women

09/12/2010, 07:00:28 AM

by Sally Bercow

Women don’t matter to this government. This is not a sweeping, attention-grabbing, rhetorical assertion, but a shameful reality. The cold, hard truth is that women will bear the brunt of the cuts to benefits, jobs and services. The Tory-Lib Dem government’s policies will bring about a huge reduction in the standard of living and the financial independence of millions of women throughout the country.

As Yvette Cooper has highlighted time and again, the comprehensive spending review, combined with the measures announced in June’s “emergency” budget, mean that women will be clobbered much harder than men. Indeed, she went as far as to say “This is the worst attack on women in the entire history of the welfare state”.

In government, our party did much to advance the cause of women’s equality: increasing maternity pay, improving maternity rights, introducing the minimum wage, boosting women’s pensions, creating more flexible jobs and extending childcare and support. Doubtless, there was more we could (and should) have done – notably to close the gender pay gap – but nonetheless it is a record of which we can be proud. Now, however, the government’s policies and savage cuts to welfare benefits and public services will not only halt the progress made on gender equality but turn back the clock in the most frightening fashion. (more…)

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