Last week’s UK news was somewhat dominated by the coalition government’s Budget. We were ‘treated’ to a few leaks before it was announced but it was only following the full reading that the full impact really reached us.
George Osborne announced, as predicted, a cut to the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p, obviously to help those who need it the most- the wealthiest in society. And Labour leader, Ed Miliband addressed this head on and rightly had the front bench ‘squirming’ as Peter McHugh in his political sketch for the New Statesman said.
McHugh said: ‘He was on even better form as he demonstrated that cutting the top rate from 50p to 45p was five times better news for us – and not the rich who would be clobbered anyway by a crackdown on tax dodging.
You can read his full analysis here.
Jackie Ashley predicted the Budget would be bad news for women, and said it had to be closely scrutinised by the usual prisms such as class and gender. Gender is important because, as she rightly pointed out, policy is rarely gender neutral, and if last week’s Budget is anything to go by then we see how detrimental it was to women. You can read her full article here.
Yesterday’s Observer broke down the Budget bit by bit and asked two commentators their views. It’s really worth reading this article as it puts much of last week’s rhetoric into perspective.
On gender, one of the commentators – Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, a think-tank focusing on low-to-middle earners and former deputy chief of staff to Gordon Brown said that it was important to close the gender pay gap within the next decade. ‘Closing that gap over the next 10 years represents a rare opportunity to spread prosperity.’
He added: ‘This will only happen if there are more quality part-time jobs and a major expansion in affordable and flexible childcare. It will also mean more equal sharing of caring responsibilities between genders. Closing the gap means change for men as well as women.’
You can read the full article here.