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Autumn Statement

Volume 556: debated on Thursday 10 January 2013

6. What discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of the autumn statement on women, black and minority ethnic groups and older people. (136072)

Colleagues have had discussions with the Chancellor and others on the impact of tax and benefits changes. The Government are committed to fairness and look very closely and carefully at the effects of their decisions on different groups, including women, black and minority ethnic groups and older people.

Evidence from the House of Commons Library contradicts what the Minister has said, because it shows that women are shouldering almost three quarters of the cumulative impact of the net direct tax, benefit, pay and pension changes pursued by the coalition Government. Does she believe this blind spot on women reflects the fact that there are so few women in the Government?

We have lifted 1 million women out of having to pay tax and put an additional £200 million into child care support, and under this Government we have seen the highest number of women in work. That proves beyond doubt our commitment to women and their families.