Women £570 a year worse off after 12 years of Conservatives, says Labour

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Women are £570 a year worse off than they were before the Conservatives came into power 12 years ago and the autumn statement will leave them even worse off, Labour has claimed.

Citing analysis of ONS figures, Labour said that in real terms, the median full-time female worker’s salary has fallen from the equivalent of £30,250 in April 2010 to £29,680.

They also accused the Conservatives of mentioning women only once during Thursday’s autumn statement and of not having considered the impact of their decisions on women.

Jeremy Hunt’s measures will cost women £605m over the next five years, the party said, as a result of their decision to maintain tax thresholds over that period.

Autumn statement 2022: key points at a glanceRead more

It came as Anneliese Dodds, the shadow women and equalities secretary, accused the government of a “decade of failure” for women.

Speaking at the Fawcett Society’s annual conference on Saturday, she was expected to pledge to put equality for women at the centre of Labour’s agenda, with a “feminist recovery” from the cost of living crisis through changes to employment rights and childcare.

“The Conservatives have crashed the economy and, as usual, they have lumped women with the bill,” she was due to say.

“With higher taxes, falling wages and no action on childcare, the one question women will be asking themselves is: ‘Am I better off under the Conservatives?’ We now know that the answer is a resounding no.

“Women know that they face a wasted decade for living standards thanks to the reckless decisions of the Conservatives. Labour will put women at the heart of our economic recovery.”

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Their analysis also found that the average house price, £280,992, is 12 times the median annual gross pay of female workers, £22,776. The figure for 2010, they said, was 10 times the average woman’s salary. In contrast, the average house price is nine times the median annual gross pay for men.

In her speech, Dodds also planned to talk about the “soft bigotry of low expectations” for girls that she experienced when growing up. Recent comments from the government’s social mobility tsar, Katharine Birbalsingh, that girls don’t “tend to fancy” physics because “there’s a lot of hard maths” involved resonated with those kinds of outdated views, she said.

A government spokesperson said: “This government is dedicated to tackling the barriers that prevent women reaching their full potential.

“The chancellor has announced targeted support worth £26bn to protect from the worst of cost-of-living pressures, and we are pursuing a number of other initiatives to support women in the workplace. This includes our groundbreaking pay transparency pilot, legislation to improve access to flexible working, and our new enterprise taskforce.”

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