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Thewomensresourcecentre.org.uk

Appendix 2: Gender analysis of the HM
Treasury and tax revenue (See Article 2)

Gender analysis in HM Treasury

There is no equality impact statement in the HM Treasury and Department for
Business, Innovation and Skills joint document The Plan for Growth,1 published
alongside the Budget. Under the moratorium exempting micro and start-up
businesses from new domestic regulation for three years from 1st April 2011, there
is a statement that “impacts on equality will be taken in to account when making
decisions on whether to exempt micro businesses”. But this is just in “exceptional
instances, and only where there is a compelling argument
”.2 Thus there is a
recognition that gender, and other equality impacts might need to be assessed
but only ‘in exceptional cases’. This is to misunderstand the point of equality
impact assessments, namely to help uncover such impacts, including where they
are inadvertent, and now these assessments may be removed altogether.3 By
definition, checking for the inadvertent will be inadequate if it is only to be done in
those exceptional circumstances where an equality impact is suspected.
We are disappointed that the Government sees flexible working as a cost to
businesses. (See Article 11) Recent research has shown a positive relationship
between flexible working and individual performance. Currently many countries
in Northern and Western Europe have more flexible workforces than the UK, and
have interpreted ‘flexibility’ in ways which favour employees as much as
employers. As a result the gender pay gap, especially for part-time workers, is
smaller than in the UK4 and levels of productivity are often higher.
In its Section 31 assessment,5 the Equality and Human Rights Commission
(EHRC) found that the Government as a whole has not “fully grasped the way in
which case law has elucidated the requirements of the [Public Sector Equality
Duty] PSED over recent years
” and recommended:
 Greater transparency, including clear HM Treasury guidance on data and analytical requirements for the whole of government  Common rules to allow easier sharing of equality data within government, such as standardised data collection rules 1 HM Treasury and Department for Business Innovation and Skills (2011) Plan for Growth http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_growth.pdf 2 HM Treasury and Department for Business Innovation and Skills (2011) Plan for Growth http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_growth.pdf p. 52 3 Mulholland, H. (2012) ‘David Cameron axes equality assessments in war on ‘red tape’ , The Guardian, 19th November 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2012/nov/19/cameron-axe-equality-assessments 4 European Commission, Eurostat, Gender pay gap statistics http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Gender_pay_gap_statistics Accessed: 12/04/13 5 Equality and Human Rights Commission (2012) Making Fair Financial Decisions Final Report. EHRC: London http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/inquiries-and-assessments/section-31-assessment-of-hm-treasury/the-assessment-final-report/ Women’s equality in the UK: CEDAW shadow report 2013
 Authoritative sources of advice and support for government departments  The development of a common model of analysis to predict the likely  A single point of government responsible for monitoring and assessing the cumulative impact of future Spending Reviews and Budgets  Independent and authoritative equality analysis of public spending.
Gender analysis of tax revenue

The Government provided some equality impact assessment information for the
tax measures contained in the 2011 Budget in the Overview of Tax Legislation and
Rates.6 The assessment is limited to tax changes that affect individuals, on the
grounds that businesses have no sex or race or age or dis/ability characteristics.
This is misplaced - those who own and manage businesses have these
characteristics, and they stand to benefit (or lose) income from these measures.
Some assessment is provided for tax measures that affect individuals, but it is
superficial and at times completely misguided. For instance, the Government
assesses that one tax break for business investment will go to investors that tend
to be “male, located in the South of England and have higher overall income
levels.
” The judgement is that: “the changes to the scheme are not likely to
change that position. We have no data to suggest that there will be impacts on
other groups. From the data available therefore we do not think these changes
will have a disproportionate impact
.”7 Clearly the Government’s own data show
that this tax break will perpetuate existing patterns of inequality.
The Government has raised the personal allowance; this will give £514m to
women who pay tax and £680m to men who pay tax. The rise in the personal
allowance will do nothing to help those who earn less than this, of which the
majority are women. In 2009/10, 3,769,252 people had earnings below the
threshold of £7475 - of these 73% were women. For mothers in this group, a more
effective use of resources would be, for example, to raise Child Benefit. Instead, a
three year freeze has been imposed. (See Article 13)
Those ‘taken out of tax’ will in the main actually gain less from this measure than
higher earners.8 Moreover, some of the gains lower earners enjoy will be clawed
back by changes in the way that National Insurance Contributions (NIC)
thresholds are uprated to allow for price rises (switching from the Retail Price
Index to the lower Consumer Price Index). Indeed 370,000 people earning
between £7,500 and £7,900 will find that all the gain in 2011-13 is wiped out by
their having to pay up to £6.25 extra NIC a year.9 Most of these people will be
women.
6 HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury (2011) Overview of tax legislation and rates http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2011/overview.htm 7 HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury (2011)Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2011/overview.pdf P A5 8 Because they will not earn enough to gain fully from the new personal al owance. 9 HM Treasury (2011) 2011 Budget http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget.htm P.79 Women’s equality in the UK: CEDAW shadow report 2013
Taxes on individuals and households

The personal allowance for those aged under 65 will rise in 2012/13 from £7,475 to
£8,105. The threshold for higher rate payments at 40% will not rise, but will remain
at £42,475 as in 2010/11. This will ensure that there is no increase in the numbers
of people liable to pay higher rate income tax at 40%. (See Article 13)
The Treasury estimates that this will take 260,000 of the lowest income tax
payers out of income tax in 2012/13, but it will also benefit higher rate tax payers,
though not additional rate tax payers who do not have a personal allowance. The
Treasury estimates that 25 million taxpayers will have an average gain of £48 a
year and 550,000 will lose on average £48 a year – all of whom have incomes
over £115,970.
The Treasury has provided an equalities impact assessment,10 which we
welcome. It confirms that HM Revenue and Customs does hold data on income
tax payers by sex. It reports that: “43% of the 25 million tax payers who will gain
are women
” thus the majority of those who gain will be men. “56% of the 260,000
people taken out of tax are women
” thus the majority of those who gain less than
the standard £48 per year will be women and these are the lowest earners who
gain at all from this measure. “16% of the 550,000 individuals who will be worse
off are women
” thus more of the very high income people who will actually lose
from their measure are men. It is useful to have this data, but this does not
provide a full gender equality impact assessment. We also need to know the
numbers of people who will not benefit from this measure because their earnings
are below £7,457, or because they have no earnings, and the proportion of these
that are women.
The Quarterly Labour Force Survey, April 2009-March 2010, shows that
3,769,252 people had earnings below £7,475 - of these 73% are women, most of
them part-time workers (93%).11 This does not, however, give us information on
those who do not gain at all because they have no income. We can safely assume
that because of the lower employment rate of women, there are more women
than men who do not gain because they lack earnings.
As well as representing a small majority of those low earners who gain a little but
not as much as most from this measure, women are a large majority of those
workers who do not gain from this measure at all because their earnings are too
low. From the figures given above, we can calculate that this measure will give
£514m to women tax payers and £680m to men tax payers, i.e. men will receive
roughly one third more than women. Furthermore, the poorest women - those
most hit by the expenditure cuts - lone mothers not in employment and single
women pensioners, will not benefit from this tax cut at all.
The Government decided to reduce fuel duty by one penny per litre. Analysis by
the Women’s Budget Group12 shows that the greatest gains, in cash terms, will go
10 HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury (2011) Overview of tax legislation and rates http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2011/overview.htm P. A25 11 Women’s Budget Group (2011) The Impact on Women of the Budget 2011. WBG: London http://wbg.org.uk/RRB_Reports_7_282363355.pdf 12 Women’s Budget Group http://www.wbg.org.uk/ Accessed: 21/03/13 Women’s equality in the UK: CEDAW shadow report 2013
to working age couples without children, whereas the smallest gains will go to
single women pensioners and single mothers.
From April 2011, the rate of corporation tax was reduced from 28% to 26%, and by
2014 it will be 23%. This will cost a total of £4,220m, over the period 2011/12 to
2015/16. The reduction in corporation tax mainly benefits large and medium
companies, as only a minority of small businesses pay corporation tax at the main
rate. The immediate beneficiaries will be the owners, shareholders and senior
managers of corporations, as more profit will be available for distribution as
dividends and bonuses.
The equalities impact provided in the Overview of Tax Legislation and Rates is as
follows: This measure concerns the taxation of the body corporate which is a
non-gender/race specific entity in law. As such it is very unlikely that there will be
any impact on equality. This ignores the fact that considerably fewer women
than men hold shares, are senior managers, or owners of businesses. For
instance, in 2010 women made up only 12.5% of the members of the corporate
boards of the FTSE 100. This is up from 9.4% in 2004 – the EHRC has estimated
that at this rate of change, it will be over 70 years before we see gender balanced
board rooms in the UK’s largest 100 companies. Only 2% of chairs of FTSE 100
companies are women. (See Article 11) Given the predominance of men at senior
levels of corporate management, reductions in corporate tax liability can be
expected to benefit more men than women.
Tax breaks to support small and medium businesses

The Government is also introducing new tax breaks to support investment in
small and medium size businesses. Previously, the Enterprise Investment
Scheme (EIS) allowed individuals investing in shares in businesses with less than
50 employees to benefit from income tax relief on 20% of the amount they
invest. The amount of income tax relief will rise to 30% and the size of firm will rise
to include those with up to 250 employees. An assessment of the equalities
impact of this measure is provided in Annex A of the Overview of Tax Legislation
and Rates.13 It states that about 10,000 individuals invested through the EIS in
2008/9, the last year for which figures are available. The data clearly show that
high income men in the South of England will disproportionately benefit from this
tax break. The fact that this tax break perpetuates an unequal distribution of the
tax reduction is a key aspect of its equalities impact. No evidence is provided on
which businesses are likely to benefit if the tax break leads to more investment.
A further tax break is provided to encourage small and medium sized enterprises
to invest in research and development. The equalities impact statement states:
This change only affects companies involved in research and development and
not individuals. It is therefore considered that these proposals have no significant
impacts on age, race, disability, or gender equality
.” This reflects a
misunderstanding that runs throughout the Government’s assessment of
changes in corporate taxes. Though the immediate impact is on businesses,
there will be knock-on effects on individuals through impacts on employment
13 HM Revenue and Customs and HM Treasury (2011) Overview of tax legislation and rates http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2011/overview.htm Women’s equality in the UK: CEDAW shadow report 2013
and on incomes from ownership of businesses, including the ownership of shares. The Small Business Survey14 also documents that women-led businesses tend to be smaller than other businesses – 90% of women-led small and medium enterprises were micro businesses, compared to 83% of those not led by women. Tax breaks do not help firms that are too small to pay tax, so could exacerbate the gap in male and female new venture and business creation. 14 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (2011) BIS Small Business Survey 2010 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32228/11-p74-bis-small-business-survey-2010.pdf Women’s equality in the UK: CEDAW shadow report 2013

Source: http://thewomensresourcecentre.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Appendix-2_Gender-analysis-of-HM-Treasury-and-tax-revenue_FINAL2.pdf

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