Fawcett Society Seek Judicial Review of Austerity Measures

The Government’s emergency budget could be unlawful according to leading women’s rights campaigners the Fawcett Society. They are requesting a judicial review, accusing the government of not taking into account how budget cuts would increase inequality between men and women. Under the Gender Equality Duty (Equality Act 2006) the government is legally obliged to consider how their policies may affect women.

In a press announcement the Fawcett Society have stated:
“We believe the Treasury did not assess the way different budget measures would affect different groups, as is required by the law. In particular, they didn’t consider the way changes to tax and welfare would affect women’s equality.
Even a top line analysis of the budget shows women will be hit hardest – some £5.8 billion of the £8 billion of cuts planned will be taken from women’s pockets.
Fawcett doesn’t relish taking this step – and we shouldn’t have to. We would far rather the government had seen fit to respect equality the law in the first place. But with a budget that risks rolling back women’s independence a generation, we could no longer stand by."
Writing in The Observer, shadow minister for women Yvette Cooper has backed the legal challenge.
"George Osborne expects women to pay three times more than men to accelerate deficit cuts, even though women still earn and own far less."

News is expected within the next few weeks on whether the judicial review will be granted.


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