Tories Launching 'Biggest Attack On Women In A Generation' Ed Miliband Says

Women Cuts

The Huffington Post UK   First Posted: 01/12/11 13:50 Updated: 01/12/11 15:20

David Cameron and George Osborne have been accused of launching the "biggest attack on women in a generation" after research showed 73% of the money being raised from cuts announced in the Autumn Statement will come from women.

According to Labour, of the £2.37bn raised from tax credits and public sector pay changes announced on Tuesday, £1.73bn will come from women and £638m will come from men.

Ed Miliband said research conducted by the House of Commons library showed the chancellor and prime minister were out of touch.

“This is the biggest attack on women in a generation. And on this, as with the austerity plan for the economy, the Autumn Statement wasn’t the game changer we need. It was more of the same," he said.

"The Autumn Statement on Tuesday had lots of talk of growth and forecasts.

"But what is that really about? It’s about the quiet crisis facing people behind front doors and around the kitchen table in millions of homes. It’s about jobs. It’s about living standards being squeezed for the 99 per cent."

According to Labour the chancellor's plans will hurt women more than twice as hard as men. Labour's shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said the government had been warned its policies were hurting women the most.

“Time and again, this government is making women take the greatest strain, even though they still earn less and own less than men," she said.

“The government is clearly shockingly out of touch with women’s lives. They have been warned repeatedly that their policies disproportionately affect women."

She added: "Yet instead of responding and changing course, the chancellor just went back for more.

"The government’s plans are deeply unfair on women. They clearly don’t understand the pressures many women are facing at the moment – especially women with children who will lose most of all."

Recent YouGov polling suggests only 11 per cent of women now believe the Conservative party best understands and reflects the views of women voters, compared to 25 per cent for Labour. Just 13 per cent believe David Cameron is the leader who best understands and reflects their views.

The apparent slump in support may in part be down to the fact that two-thirds of public sector workers are women. And the coalition is currently engaged in a bitter war of words with public sector unions over pay and pensions.

The government is conscious that it has a problem with female voters, and Cameron recently announced plans to appoint a female special adviser in Downing Street to vet policies on how women-friendly they are.

In October Cameron admitted he needed to do more to appeal to women and insisted he was "not one of the lads" after a couple of slip-ups at prime minister's questions that allowed Labour to paint him as sexist.

In one incident he told female Labour MP Angela Eagle to "calm down dear" and during another rowdy PMQs he appeared to join in the fun when other MPs giggled at the innuendo when he told Nadine Dorries she was "frustrated".

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