The Treasury failed to consider how crucial policies would affect women before the 2010 spending review, according to a report by the equality watchdog.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) said it was "unable to establish" whether government had checked how its flagship schemes would hit vulnerable people – despite this being a legal necessity.
The government appeared to rush through these points and concentrate more so on the more “attractive” policies to win over supporters.
The Treasury was found to be weak in three areas. One of the main cuts was, capping of household benefits – limiting welfare to £500 a week for couples and lone parent households. The testing of the impact on women was not tested prior to the announcement of these cuts.
The study found that the Treasury could quite often dismiss arguments around gender and argue they often don’t have accurate information. This is seen as disregarding these sub-groups. The commission has warned they may be breaking the law by enforcing indirect discrimination.
The majority of part-time workers today are women and to put this group at a particular disadvantage would be considered unlawful.
The commission's report follows a legal case brought by the Fawcett Society, which campaigns on women's rights, in August 2010. Campaigners argued the government could not show it had assessed whether the emergency budget in June that year would increase or reduce inequality between women and men.