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Womens budget Group comment on the budget

Cuts in direct taxes are no compensation for cuts in public services and tax credits.

Women benefit less than men from cuts to direct taxes and lose more than men from cuts to public services and tax credits. Lowering the top rate of tax from 50p to 45p gives large benefits to a few very wealthy people, mainly men and will do little or nothing to create decent jobs.

Meanwhile, the poorest families will gain nothing from raising the personal tax allowance, and those who will not gain from this measure are predominately women, some because their earnings are already below the threshold; some because they have no earnings at all because they are caring full-time for others in their families; and some because their life-time earnings are so low that their pensions are below their threshold.

Professor Diane Elson, Chair of the Women's Budget Group, said in response to the Chancellor's statement: "Rather than any cuts in income tax, the Chancellor should have used this Budget to put money in the hands of less well off women, who would spend it in ways that are much more effective for job creation than will rich men."

The Women's Budget Group is a network of over 200 academics and activists. For more information, please visit www.wbg.org.uk or contact Amy Watson (admin@wbg.org.uk), WBG Coordinator.

Diane Elson can be contacted for further comment on 07949 275 865. Professor Sue Himmelweit is also available for further comment on 020 7272 8485 or 07963 951 333

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