In Women and Equalities questions yesterday, I asked what steps the government is taking to support women living in poverty.
Speaking in the Commons, I said: “A recent report by Welsh charity Chwarae Teg highlights the fact that 38% of women in Wales on universal credit are in work compared with 29% of men. What is the Minister doing to ensure that there is strong action in the Budget to tackle women’s in-work poverty?”
The minister, Mims Davies MP, replied : “I thank the hon. Lady for raising this issue. Wales and opportunities for women is an issue close to my heart—she will know that. I had my best opportunities working in Wales, and I want that to extend to everyone. Universal credit will offer 85% of childcare costs. The flexible support fund also helps women into work. I would urge all women to take the opportunity to go into their jobcentre and ask about the mix of benefits and support they can get. But one particular issue always holds women back, and that is confidence. Women should feel confident that they can go for it under this Government and under universal credit.”
The minister talked about confidence, but as she well knows confidence isn’t enough to pay the bills. Government action is needed.