Response to Chancellor’s Spending Review 2020

Responding to the Chancellor’s Spending Review, Joe Levenson, Young Women’s Trust Director of Communications and Campaigns said:

“The Chancellor introduced his statement by saying that our economic emergency has only just begun, but the sad reality is that for many young women it was a struggle to make ends meet long before the pandemic hit. Since then, many more young women have been plunged into crisis, suffering a loss of earnings due to job losses or juggling precarious and insecure work with caring responsibilities.

“While we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement that the Government’s National Living Wage will be extended to more younger workers, something we had called for, it is unfortunate it is being increased by so little and still isn’t being extended to 21 and 22 year olds.

“For all the talk of levelling up, growing numbers of young women who are having to access benefits for the first time are likely to continue to feel left behind and worried for the future, with unemployment set to rocket upwards to 2.6 million next year.

“If the Government is serious about protecting the most vulnerable and funding the infrastructure of everyday life, the needs of young women must be at the heart. This means investing in the benefits system to better support young women, protecting jobs in sectors many young women work in including hospitality and retail which are being badly hit, and ensuring the new infrastructure plan has investment in social infrastructure such as childcare at its heart. Most of all, the response to the coronavirus crisis must be informed by data and the voices of diverse young women on the economic and wider impacts on their lives.”