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Departmental Public Expenditure

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions whether consideration has been given to applying gender responsive budgeting to his Department's budget. (192110)

The UK Government are supportive of efforts to achieve gender equality and continue to work very closely with both the Women's National Commission and the Women's Budget Group on promoting gender equality within the UK.

In 2004, HM Treasury undertook a pilot project on gender analysis of expenditure with the Women's Budget Group. The project demonstrated the value of gender analysis in some areas and identified what tools and expertise were necessary within government to carry out gender analysis, but that further work was needed before gender responsive budgeting could be implemented.

In 2008, HM Treasury will be conducting further work that will determine whether it is prudent and feasible to disaggregate departmental expenditure statistics by gender.

All policy needs to have been gender impact assessed if it affects the Department's customers or staff. Gender equality issues have been central to developing the Pensions Act 2007, and to the current Pension Reform Bill going through Parliament. DWP has produced and published two extensive gender impact assessments alongside this legislation which demonstrate how these pension reforms will contribute to achieving equality of outcome in state pension provision, and equality of opportunity in building up private pension rights.