WM People Podcast, episode 5

The fifth WM People podcast covers the Budget fallout, single parents and pensioner poverty and Mother’s Day.

The fifth episode of the WM People podcast has just come out, covering analysis of the Budget, the challenges facing single parents and a reflection on Mother’s Day – and why it may be difficult for some people.

The podcast, hosted by Ben Falk, editor of workingdads.co.uk, and Mandy Garner, editor of workingwise.co.uk and workingmums.co.uk, discussed the wider context of getting people back to work that drove the Budget focus on both parents and older workers, with initiatives like Universal Support which aim to help those with long-term health problems back to work.

It also saw a detailed discussion of the childcare announcements, from the extension of the ‘free’ 30 hours a week [in term time] for three and four year olds in England to one and two year olds over the next two years to upfront payments for childcare provision under Universal Credit.

Ben and Mandy charted the rollercoaster ride that many parents experienced, from excitement that their fees might come down to realisation that it was all being phased in over a two-year period so probably wouldn’t affect them and that it could irreparably harm childcare providers if, as looks likely, the ‘free’ hours are not fully funded by the Government.

Last week was also Single Parent’s Day. With single parents being disproportionately affected by other moves in the Budget, such as the toughening of the benefits sanctions regime and by cost of living pressures, the podcast discussed a new report on the impact of being a single parent on lifetime earnings and on pension income, given the greater likelihood of having to work part time due to childcare costs and availability. There has been a lot of focus recently on the cumulative effect of caring and career breaks on pension income, with the gender pension gap becoming a growing concern for policymakers worried about pensioner poverty.

And finally, the podcast reflected on Mother’s Day 2023 and anticipated Father’s Day in June and asked how meaningful the days are for different people depending on their parent-child relationships and whether, for instance, they have been adopted or their mother has died.

You can catch up with discussion on AppleSpotify, or your podcast app of choice.

This week’s episode is produced and edited by Honey Wyatt.

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