Monday, 11 March 2013

The Mummy Tax

Last Friday was International Women’s Day, and I think it is worth spending a few moments to think about the situation women in Britain have found themselves in since this Government came to power.

Elected claiming that he would lead the most family-friendly Government ever, but the reality has been a different story. The latest example of which is the mummy tax. From April this year, the Government will restrict Statutory Maternity Pay to a 1% annual increase, meaning that by 2015, this will amount of an effective real terms cut of £180 to working women. New mothers should not be the people who pay the price of George Osborne’s economic failure.

The previous Labour Government did much to deliver real improvements to women’s lives. Labour absolutely transformed the provision of maternity leave and pay, by increasing the leave from 18 weeks to one year and by doubling maternity pay. Labour also brought in the biggest ever package of support for new parents, through Child Tax Credits, and introducing the right to request flexible working.

Perhaps one of the most visible and widely appreciated changes made under the previous Labour Government were the opening of around 3,500 Sure Start Centres, the creation of over 1,000,000 new childcare places, and free nursery provision for ever three and four year old whose parents wanted it.

The mummy tax risks turning back the clock on one of the most important things to come out of the last decade of Labour Government. 1.2million women will be affected by this cut, at a time when Cameron and Osborne are giving a £100,000-a-month tax cut to the richest people in our society. That’s why Labour have launched the “Mums not Millionaires” petition, which can be found here.