Surge in mothers returning to work as Tories accused of undermining families
A study published by the Office for National Statistics has found that more women who are both in a relationship and have dependent children have returned to work since the coalition came to power than in the entire 1996-2011 period.
This sharp increase comes in the wake of chancellor George Osborne’s policy to scrap universal child benefit, which critics say has forced an unusual number of middle-class stay-at-home mothers to go back to work.
The figures show that since 2011, nearly 200,000 women who are married or in a long term relationship and have children have re-entered the workplace, compared with 185,000 in the preceding five years. Campaign groups have rounded on the Government in light of the figures, claiming they make a mockery of prime minister David Cameron’s claim that he was leading the UK’s most “family friendly Government.”
Laura Perrins, spokesperson for the campaign group Mothers at Home Matter, told The Telegraph: “They don’t seem to understand what family friendly means – they think it basically means separating mothers from their young children… The needs of children are completely ignored.” She slammed the Government’s policies as being “agenda driven.”
The report also said that since 2008 there had been an “increase in the employment rates for lone parents with children aged four and over,” appearing to demonstrate that single mothers are also being forced to go out and work, rather than raise their children.