Cllr Kathy Pearce, Chair of the Sedgemoor Labour group, has launched an attack on the Coalition Government on International Women’s day and is being backed by Party leader and Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset, Cllr Mick Lerry.
Kathy says “Under this Government, women have borne the brunt of the cutbacks, yet remain under-represented at all levels of government. The forthcoming elections are the opportunity for all women to really make a stand and say “enough is enough” and vote this government OUT.”
Cllr Mick Lerry said: “As we celebrate International Womens’ Day on the 8th March, then the record of this Government shows, that women cannot afford another 5 years of Tory control”.
Reversing economic equality
At a time when women and their families have never had it so tough, this Government has hit women and their families hardest.
Independent House of Commons research has found £22 billion out of the £26 billion (85 per cent) of cash raised over this Parliament from tax and benefit changes has come from women’s pockets.
According to the Institute Fiscal Studies, families with children have been hit hardest of all by David Cameron’s choices – a clear betrayal of his promise to lead the most family-friendly government ever.
44 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed women still earn just 81p for every pound a man earns. Even David Cameron thinks it’s acceptable to pay one of his own Cabinet Ministers less than her male predecessor. Progress on closing the gender pay gap has slowed under this Government yet they have refused to implement Labour plans to require large companies to publish their pay gap.
Fewer women accessing justice
Since this Government introduced of Tribunal fees, the number of claims for sex discrimination has fallen by 91 per cent.
Despite a rise in recorded rapes and reported incidents of domestic violence Police referrals for rape have fallen by 28 per cent since 2010 and prosecutions are down 14 per cent. Prosecutions for domestic violence are down 5 per cent and convictions have also fallen.
The Government has wasted millions on Police and Crime Commissioners whilst Women’s Aid report refuges have reached ‘crisis point’ with hundreds of women turned away a day from lack of space and closures.
The real record on women in work:
The story of this recovery has been one of low-wage, insecure and temporary work – hitting women particularly hard. Over a quarter of all working women are now on low pay and make up the majority of workers on zero-hour contracts. Yet the Government has refused to back Labour plans to ban exploitative zero-hour contracts, provide incentives to employers to pay the living wage and raise the minimum wage to £8.
More women are moving into part-time work than ever before, where the average wage is 1/3rd less per hour than full-time work.
The average annual wage for a self-employed woman is below the minimum wage, but a third of female employment since 2010 has been in women registering as self-employed. More young women are being left behind under this Government, half a million young women (18-24) are not in education, work or training, higher than when Labour left Office. The number of young women unemployed for over a year has increased by 29.5 per cent since the election.
Cllr Mick Lerry-Leader of the Labour Group on SDC
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency