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Govt Minister justifies impact of spending cuts on women by increased spending on breast cancer

(10 Posts)
Sunshinetoast Wed 13-Jul-11 11:59:26

on a deadline so may have to post and run, sorry. There was a debate in Westminster about the impact of the spending cuts on women in Coventry yesterday.

(I have to express an interest in that Geoffrey Robinson's speech was based on my research)

The response from the Minister was very poor - and ended by saying 'I recognise the hon. Gentleman’s statistic on the proportion of lone parents who are women. However, the analysis missed out the fact that in some of the areas that we have protected, such as health, women particularly benefit. We are taking steps to improve the amount of breast screening for cancer'

not sure exactly how that helps..

Meglet Wed 13-Jul-11 12:10:18

Oh my fucking God.

What the hell does the fact they are spending money on breast cancer mean they justify stitching up women in other ways angry.

<<implodes on sick bed>>

So (if I were a lone parent) I can't help my kids as tax credits are cut, etc, but look at my healthy boobs!

throckenholt Wed 13-Jul-11 12:19:07

presumably they are not increasing spending on prostate cancer then ? Because that would unbalance it all again and mean women were being unfairly targetted !

aliceliddell Wed 13-Jul-11 12:20:55

Childcare is cut by 2/3rds apparently, and some bastard council (Stoke?) just cut support services to deaf children by 1/2. It's beyond all reason. Deaf children? Paying for bankers' casino economy games?

aliceliddell Wed 13-Jul-11 12:23:20

throckenholt - you should contact the Fawcett Society, False Economy and PCS to let them (among others) know that all their research is wrong. Only fair of you to share.

Sunshinetoast Wed 13-Jul-11 12:44:48

Cuts that will affect lone parents include:

Cuts to housing benefit which the Government’s Equality Impact assessment concludes will particularly affect lone parents. Those affected will either have to move house or pay the difference in rent themselves. But surveys of private landlords suggest that over 40% may be less likely to accept tenants on benefits so it will be harder to find somewhere to live.

Lone parents will also be particularly badly hit by cuts to childcare tax credit and reduction in the amount of child care available. This is because lone parents have to meet childcare costs out of one salary and do not have a partner to share childcare with. We’ve seen in Coventry that some childcare providers have cut back on what they provide and afterschool clubs in some areas have closed.

In addition the Child support agency is being replaced by the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission. This body will charge up to £100 and 7-12% of maintenance recovered where lone parents cannot persuade the absent parent to provide child support voluntarily.

Lone parents are also being obliged to seek work once their youngest child is five. They should be allowed to only look for work that fits around their childcare commitments, for example school hours only. However with cuts to public sector jobs these sorts of flexible jobs may be harder to find. And the lone parent group Gingerbread has documented many cases across the UK where lone parents have been wrongly told by the Job Centre that they have to apply for jobs outside school hours or have their benefits cut. Some lone parents have already had benefits cut wrongly. If sanctions become more severe this problem may increase. And because lone parents will not be able to get legal aid for welfare benefit cases they will find it harder to appeal against incorrect decisions.

Single parents are over three times more likely to have experienced domestic violence than women in other types of household so all the changes that affect victims and survivors of domestic violence will disproportionately affect lone parents.

Lone parents are more likely to be looking after a disabled child than parents in couples so lone parents are also disproportionately likely to be affected by cuts that affect disabled people and carers.

The full report on Coventry is available here

I'm hoping to get funding to do a toolkit so that people can do their own reports in other parts of the country. In the meantime anyone who is interested can message me and I will send you information about what we did

sunshineandbooks Wed 13-Jul-11 13:33:28

I have written to my MP and other ministers (Theresa May, Justine Greening, Maria Miller) about the effects of Coalition policy on women in general and on lone parents in particular.

Of the ministers, only Justine Greening replied - with a letter that didn't address any of the points I raised. hmm

My MP has, 6 weeks later, still to reply to my latest letter about effects on lone parents caused by CSA charges.

Meglet Wed 13-Jul-11 13:35:32

School jobs don't work for LP's (I know as I've been looking for months). I have a p/t admin job but don't know what I will do when the dc's start school.

You need to work 16+ hours a week for working tax credits or childcare tax credits and dinner lady, classroom assistant jobs all seem to be 2/3 hours a day and therefore not enough hours to qualify.

We're down £100 a month since they cut the childcare tax credits. Will be down even more if the deranged CSA charges come into effect.

sunshineandbooks Wed 13-Jul-11 13:36:46

Just wanted to add a thank you Sunshinetoast. People like you doing this sort of research make it harder for the government to dismiss women. As a single parent myself, I appreciate it.

Also, if you do get your funding, I'd be interested in seeing what I can do around this area.

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