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Government Financial Support: Low to Moderate Incomes

Volume 688: debated on Tuesday 26 January 2021

What comparative assessment his Department has made of the effect of Government financial support during the covid-19 outbreak on (a) women and (b) men on low to moderate incomes. (911366)

The impact of tax and welfare policy is best analysed at the whole-household level. As the Institute for Fiscal Studies has said, because most people live in households with others and we do not know how incomes are shared, it is very hard to look at effects separately for many men and women. That is why the Government support has been targeted at the most vulnerable. Our distributional analysis published last year shows that the Government’s covid-19 financial support protected the poorest households’ incomes the most as a proportion of their income.

The pandemic has been a difficult time for pregnant women in work, and one in four have faced discrimination, including being unlawfully singled out for redundancy—a problem not confined to the pandemic. Will my hon. Friend look again at how other countries tackle this problem and consider adopting Germany’s approach of protecting pregnant women from redundancy, which would also give families much-needed financial stability at what can be a very challenging time?

We are aware of the difficulties that families are experiencing during the pandemic and we have put many measures in place to look at this, but if my right hon. Friend has examples of specific schemes happening across the world that she would like me to look at, I am happy to do so within my other role as Minister for Equalities.