Paul L. Caron

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tax Is A Feminist Issue

Economist Logo (2015)The Economist, Tax Is a Feminist Issue: Why National Budgets Need to Take Gender Into Account:

Designing fiscal policies to support gender equality is good for growth.

Like many rich-country governments, Britain’s prides itself on pursuing policies that promote sexual equality. However, it fails to live up to its word, argues the Women’s Budget Group, a feminist think-tank that has been scrutinising Britain’s economic policy since 1989. A report in 2016 from the House of Commons Library, an impartial research service, suggests that in 2010-15 women bore the cost of 85% of savings to the Treasury worth £23bn ($29bn) from austerity measures, specifically cuts in welfare benefits and in direct taxes. Because women earn less, rely more on benefits, and are much more likely than men to be single parents, the cuts affected them disproportionately.

House of CommonsThe government does not set out to discriminate, says Diane Elson, the budget group’s former chair. Rather, it overlooks its own bias because it does not take the trouble to assess how policies affect women. Government budgets are supposed to be “gender-neutral”; in fact they are gender-ignorant. Ms Elson is one of the originators of a technique called “gender budgeting”—in which governments analyse fiscal policy in terms of its differing effects on men and women. Gender budgeting identifies policies that are unequal as well as opportunities to spend money on helping women and which have a high return. Britain has declined to adopt the technique, but countries from Sweden to South Korea have taken it up.

(Hat Tip: Rick Bales.)

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And here I thought feminism was designed to NOT take gender into account.

Posted by: ruralcounsel | Mar 14, 2017 9:51:47 AM

What a crock. Of course since women disproportionately benefit from state welfare and are net takers, and men net contributors who receive less, any general cut in spending will "hurt" the takers more. It's the old "women and minorities hardest hit" thinking. For example did you know that up to 20% of homeless people are women!!! Something must be done!!!

Posted by: B | Mar 14, 2017 9:26:22 AM

When did a benefit become a tax.

Posted by: Thomas Carden | Mar 13, 2017 11:53:24 PM