Women suffer most from Coalition cuts

WOMEN, and new mothers in ­particular, have suffered disproportionately from Coalition welfare cuts according to new figures released by the SNP.

Using data from the House of Commons Library, the party said 68% of all Westminster welfare cuts between 2011-12 to 2015-16 would fall on women.

In Scotland, that meant £4.1 billion less for women as a result of a five-year cuts package of £6bn.

The SNP also said that by 2015-16, a mother claiming statutory maternity pay would be £170 worse off, as it no longer rose with inflation, and would also have lost £190 because of the abolition of the Health in Pregnancy Grant in 2011.

SNP MSP Clare Adamson said: “It is appalling that pregnant women and new mothers will all be at least £360 worse off and women are having their benefits ­disproportionately cut by the Tory Westminster government.

“The fact that women are forced to carry the can for 68% of the cuts is simply flabbergasting.

“The Scottish Government is doing what it can to mitigate the impact of welfare cuts but the real powers over tax and welfare still remain in Westminster – despite the UK Government proving time and time again it cannot be trusted to look out for our most vulnerable people.”

The Department for Work and Pensions said employment levels for women rose last year.

A spokesman said: “That fact is, our vital reforms are ­working for people in Scotland and across the UK, with employment rising, unemployment falling and record numbers of women in work in Scotland.

“We are making the welfare system ­affordable for the long-term while supporting the living standards of poor families by freezing fuel duty, increasing personal tax allowance and cutting income tax for those on the minimum wage.”