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UK spending cuts will reduce women’s income; widen gender pay gap

Cuts will reduce women’s income and widen the gender pay gap, says TUC

Public sector job losses and welfare cuts will disproportionately hit women’s income and set progress on closing the gender pay gap back years, the UK Trade Union Congress warned today, as it publishes a report on the gender impact of the cuts.

Ahead of the latest pay gap figures published tomorrow, the TUC has used official earnings data to calculate that the gender pay divide, based on median hourly earnings, is nearly twice as high in the private sector (20.8 per cent) as it is in the public sector (11.6 per cent).

The TUC believes that the fall in city bonuses and the relative lack of public sector job losses during the recession helped close the gender pay gap in recent years but fears tomorrow’s figures, based on 2010 earnings, could mark the start of a growing gender pay gap.

On average women working in the public sector earn almost 40 per cent more per hour than female employees in the private sector. This highlights the importance of public sector employment in raising women’s wages, says the TUC.

The TUC is concerned that as women represent 65 per cent of the public sector workforce, they will bear the brunt of the estimated 400,000 public sector job losses over the next four years.

See the full report here.

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