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Autumn Statement is the biggest attack on women for a generation – Ed Miliband and Yvette Cooper

*  New House of Commons research figures show that the changes to direct tax and pay in the Autumn Statement once again hit women more than twice as hard as men.

*  Of the £2.37 billion raised from tax credits and public sector pay changes in this Autumn Statement, the House of Commons Library estimates that 73 per cent (£1.73 billion) will be coming from women and 27 per cent (£638 million) coming from men.

New figures from the independent House of Commons Library today show women are hit twice as hard as men by the Autumn Statement which the Chancellor George Osborne delivered in the House of Commons on Tuesday.

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party, and Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, warned of the consequences of the Government’s Autumn Statement and called for Ministers to adopt Labour’s five point plan for jobs and growth to get the economy moving at a public Q&A in Tower Hill, London today.

Ed Miliband said:

“This is the biggest attack on women in a generation.

“And on this, as with the austerity plan for the economy, the Autumn Statement wasn’t the game changer we need.

“It was more of the same.

“Politics has to show it can be in touch with the reality facing people.

“It must not treat the consequences of decisions taken in Westminster as mere figures on a chart somewhere.

“They have real effects on people and this Government – through its values and its actions – is not in touch with enough of them.

“The Autumn Statement on Tuesday had lots of talk of growth and forecasts.

“But what is that really about? It’s about the quiet crisis facing people behind front doors and around the kitchen table in millions of homes. It’s about jobs. It’s about living standards being squeezed for the 99 per cent.

“Wages frozen, when energy bills are soaring.

“It’s about the fate of next generation.”

Yvette Cooper said:

“The House of Commons Library research shows clearly that once again the Chancellor’s plans hit women more than twice as hard as men. Of £2.37 billion announced yesterday in measures which directly affect personal income, 73 per cent will come from women, and 27 per cent from men according to the House of Commons Library estimates.

“Time and again, this Government is making women take the greatest strain, even though they still earn less and own less than men. If you look at all the changes to direct tax, benefits, pay and pensions announced by the Chancellor since the General Election, of the £18.9 billion that the Government is raising each year, £13.2 billion is coming from women and £5.7 billion from men. Women are being hit twice as hard.

“The Government is clearly shockingly out of touch with women’s lives. They have been warned repeatedly that their policies disproportionately affect women, not just by Labour, the Fawcett Society and women’s organisations across the country, but by their own internal memos and advice. Yet instead of responding and changing course, the Chancellor just went back for more.

“The Government’s plans are deeply unfair on women. They clearly don’t understand the pressures many women are facing at the moment – especially women with children who will lose most of all."

The Number 10 memo can be read in full here

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