Why Is Austerity Hitting Women Far Harder Than Men?

Photo: Karen Hatch / Getty.
The government's austerity cuts are hitting women nearly twice as hard as men, according to a new report.

The Women's Budget Group (WBG), a not-for-profit organisation that monitors the impact of government policies on men and women, has shared new analysis examining how tax and benefit changes implemented since 2010 are affecting their respective average incomes.

The average man will be £555 a year worse off by 2020, the WBG has told The Observer, while the average woman will be £1,003 a year worse off.

The WBG also found that less prosperous women are being affected even more drastically by the government's tax and benefit changes. Women with below-average incomes will be £1,678 a year worse off by 2020, according to their analysis.

Eva Neitzert, the WBG's director, told The Observer: "Women, especially those on low incomes, have shouldered the largest burden of austerity measures. Overall, women stand to lose twice as much as men by 2020, and for those on the lowest incomes this means a cut of between 11 and 15%."

The WBG's analysis arrives 10 days after Equal Pay Day 2016 shone a spotlight on the UK's gender pay gap, which currently stands at 13.9%. From 3.34pm on the 10th of November until the end of the year, women will effectively stop being paid because of the enduring gender pay gap.