In July we submitted written evidence jointly with the Women’s Budget Group to the Treasury Committee’s inquiry on ‘An Equal Recovery’. This evidence has now been published on the Committee’s website. The key points in our evidence were:
- The economic impact of the crisis is most affecting people already on low incomes or with less accumulated wealth and this has a profound impact on inequality experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, disabled people, and women.
- The pandemic exacerbated existing inequalities that should have been anticipated by the UK Government, which failed to adequately influence the policy response on employment, welfare, childcare, pregnancy, and maternity.
- When carried out correctly, Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) are an important tool for understanding how policy impacts different groups.
- Plans to ‘build back better’ must seek to address the structural inequalities that are baked into our economy.
We made 4 recommendations:
- UK Government should invest in social housing.
- The UK Government should make it easier for local authorities to build and invest in housing
- UK Government funding pots for housing should be streamlined
- Cuts to local government funding need to be reversed and deprivation included in funding formula.
We concluded that Covid-19 had exposed and exacerbated the deep inequalities baked into our economy, but that it had also revealed that care is the backbone of our society.