LABOUR MPs called on the government to address “gender pricing” once and for all in yesterday’s parliamentary debate on high street stores charging twice as much for products aimed at women.
Dewsbury MP Paula Sherriff condemned the practice of making women pay up to 37 per cent more for items that are similar to those labelled for men.
Ms Sherriff had already led the discussion on the abolition of the infamous “tampon tax,” after Chancellor George Osborne decided to continue taxing women’s toiletries as luxury products.
She told Parliament: “Further independent analysis is needed to understand the true extent and impact of differentials in pricing between similar products marketed at men and women.
“Women may be paying thousands of pounds more over the course of their lives to purchase similar products to men.”
She added that women were being treated as second-class citizens, giving the example that, “if a man and a woman with short hair go in to a hairdresser, often they are charged completely different rates simply based on gender.”
Labour’s shadow minister for women and equalities Kate Green echoed the sentiment, saying: “The government has a duty to ensure that women are not being misled by manufacturers and advertisers into believing that products marketed at women have extra value or features if they do not.
“This is part of an increasingly worrying pattern of gender economic inequality under this government.
“With chronic and persistent low pay in sectors dominated by women employees, a gender pay gap well above the EU average and 81 per cent of the savings made to the Treasury through tax and benefit changes coming from women since 2010, this government has a lot to answer for on its record on women and the economy.”