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Government Assistance: Coronavirus

Question for Treasury

UIN HL323, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the Women’s Budget Group Gender Differences in Access to Coronavirus Government Support, published on 19 April; and what assessment they have made of the reliance of women, in comparison to men, on government COVID-19 support.

Answered on

27 May 2021

The Government is committed to ensuring a fair recovery for all. During the crisis we have rolled out unprecedented levels of support to protect jobs for both women and men.

The continuation of measures to respond to the impact of COVID-19, such as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, has demonstrated the support for women during the pandemic, with more than half of jobs that have been furloughed since July being held by women. Women in low income households will also benefit from the additional support provided through the extension of the temporary £20 per week uplift to the Universal Credit standard allowance. Women account for 52% of Universal Credit claimants as of February 2021.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) has provided support for many of the 1.7 million self-employed women in the UK. The Future Fund has committed over £1 billion to support 1140 high growth companies across the country, of which 77% have mixed-gender management teams - compared to the Female Founders report which found that only 10% of venture capital was going to mixed-gender teams in 2019.

The Treasury carefully considers the impact of its decisions on those sharing protected characteristics, in line with both its legal obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) and in line with its strong commitment to promoting fairness.

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