Britain Does Away With Idea of Male “Breadwinner”

Britain’s Secretary of State for Social Security Harriet Harman announced plans for new programs that will put an end to the idea of a male “breadwinner.” Harman said, “Key factors taken for granted in post-war society cannot be taken for granted in the 1990s,” said Harman. “Today, in most quarters at any rate, we have moved on. Our goal is employability for men and women.”

Chancellor Gordon Brown announced that around 250,000 mostly female partners of unemployed Jobseeker’s Allowance applicants, 95 percent of whom are male “breadwinners,” will be offered a chance to join welfare-to-work programs.

A pre-budget report by Martin Taylor, chief executive of Barclays Bank, said “The existing rules seem to be left over from the days when it was assumed that all men worked and their wives did not. Today, when 47 percent of employees are women, basic benefit policy on such a notion is, to say the least, inappropriate.”


The Independent - March 19, 1998

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