Siân Errington

Siân Errington

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Siân Errington

Siân Errington

Siân Errington is a Research Officer at Unite the Union, a Labour Party member and involved with the organisation of the Labour Assembly Against Austerity, which brings together supporters of the People's Assembly Against Austerity movement.

Siân Errington

This budget will further hit women's living standards

This year’s budget may have been on International Women’s day, but once again with the Government committing to permanent austerity, 86 per cent of the “savings” made have come from women, through tax and benefit changes.

Ahead of the Budget, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Women Sarah Champion MP had led demands that the government must publish an analysis of the impact of the budget measures on women; for a Treasury Minister to sit before the Women and Equalities select committee and answer questions on the impact of the budget on women and to publish an equality impact assessment alongside the Spring Budget

That none of these calls has been answered and that women continue to be hardest hit by the policies of this government show that as a country we may currently have a woman Prime Minister but that does not alter the reality of the ongoing austerity assault on women’s collective position in society.

Just as trickle-down economics does not work, neither does trickle-down social justice.

It has necessitated subverting the language of equality by both this government and its coalition predecessor — barriers to accomplishing equality are reduced to the need to overcome individual prejudice rather than inequality being a structural feature of our society, which is why women are being most affected by austerity. 

Women shoulder greater caring responsibilities and form the bulk of the public service workforce. They are also the greater users of public services so the cuts, privatisation and running down of these services affect them disproportionately.

Women have increased their participation in the workforce to historic highs, yet form the majority of the lowest-paid. One in four women are in low-paid and insecure work and women are concentrated in the sectors most scarred by the rise in precarious and insecure work.


Women’s Aid has reported that, on a typical day, 155 women have to be turned away from refuges and two women a week continue to die at the hands of their current or ex-partner. We know that 54,000 women a year are forced out of their jobs because of maternity discrimination and the Runnymede Trust has shown that black and Asian women on have been worst affected by this government’s actions. 

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Labour’s Alternative Can Advance Equality for Women

This March for International Women’s Day I wrote an article that was hopeful in reflecting from a perspective of advancing women’s liberation that the election of Jeremy Corbyn to the Labour leadership had brought the politics of a vision of a more positive future, with social justice as it goal, into the heart of the political debate.

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