Tuesday, 27 August 2013

New Mums are being betrayed by this Government - Yvette Cooper

Yvette Cooper
New figures show new mums being let down by Tory-Lib Dem Government, as Labour launches consultation on new deal for new mums.
Labour believe Tories and Lib Dems are betraying new mums by making it easier to discriminate during maternity leave and hitting new parents hardest financially.

*  a shocking 50,000 women are estimated to be losing their jobs while on maternity leave each year - according to Labour Party analysis of Slater and Gordon research.

*  new House of Commons library figures show an average family with a new born baby is losing £2,000 as a result of David Cameron's cuts to tax credits, maternity pay and support for new families.

*  the cost of living for new families is getting worse and worse each month under David Cameron. Just in the last year he cost of looking after a new baby is rising by 4.5 per cent according to Child Poverty Action Group figures, yet average earnings are only going up by 1.5 per cent, and new mothers are also more likely to face a drop in income due to taking maternity leave, working part time, or miss out on pay rises due to discrimination.

*  the Government is making it easier for employers to discriminate against women during maternity leave by charging £1,200 to take a maternity discrimination case to employment tribunal.
Labour will shortly be launching a survey of mothers and new parents, to hear first hand their experiences of pregnancy and the first year of their baby’s life. It will look at:

*  the impact of Tory cuts to maternity pay and support for families, as well as the living standards of young families and Tory cuts to Sure Start;

*  the extent of maternity discrimination faced by new parents, with a view to ensuring that the existing legislation is properly enforced and/or strengthened;

*  the availability of affordable childcare and flexible working for both women and men.
The survey will also look at maternity services and other family support, such as Sure Start.

Yvette Cooper MP said:
"New mums are being betrayed by this Government. They face a triple whammy from maternity discrimination made easier by Ministers, big cuts to family support by George Osborne, and the cost of living with a new baby is far outstripping wages.

“Discrimination against women who take maternity leave is a hidden outrage, and a complete waste for the economy. The revelation that up to 50,000 women a year could be losing their jobs on maternity leave is a shocking one. Yet far from doing anything about it, Ministers are making it worse by charging women who challenge discrimination at an employment tribunal.

"And new parents are being particularly hard hit by George Osborne's tax and benefit changes - losing maternity pay, child benefit, tax credit, pregnancy grants and Sure Start. At the same time the cost of living for new parents is rising far faster than wages. Yet at the same time, millionaires are getting tax cuts.

"The first few months of a new baby's life are extremely important for the whole family and should be a special time. They shouldn't be clouded by fear of not having a job to go back to, or worry about how to manage financially.

“We know David Cameron has a problem with women. This is now resulting in him failing new families. We need a new deal for new mums that shows motherhood is valued, and that recognises the vital role parents play in the economy as well as in the home."


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