Budget to include cash to teach youngsters about the importance of votes for women

Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in a Polling Booth circa 1910. She was one of the leaders of the mov

Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst in a Polling Booth circa 1910. She was one of the leaders of the movement to secure votes for women. - Credit: PA

Cash to teach young people about the importance of universal suffrage almost 100 years after women first got the vote will be announced in the chancellor's International Women's Day budget.

A £5m pot of money for projects to mark the centenary of the Representation of the People Act next year will be in spending plans set out by Philip Hammond.

But an upbeat assessment of the future of the British economy and a handful of giveaways will come with a warning from Mr Hammond that he will not shirk difficult decisions on tax and spending.

He will admit that ordinary working families are still feeling the pinch almost a decade after the financial crisis, which saw billions of pounds pumped into Britain's banks.

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The government has already announced an extra £500m, which will include money for new free schools, which could be selective.

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Millions of pounds has also been announced to pay for scientific research, including to develop battery operated cars to tackle air pollution.

But he will be under pressure over spending cuts with an eve of budget call for him to scrap a planned increase to a 'stealth tax' affecting the cost of millions of insurance policies by business and charity groups.

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The Association of British Insurers (ABI), the AA and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) are among those who have put their names to an open letter to the Government, calling for it to cancel a planned increase in insurance premium tax (IPT) in June.

Thousands of 1950s-born women, including a number from the region, are expected to march on Westminster to call for transitional arrangements to help those who were not told about a rise in their state pension age.

But Mr Hammond insists the government has a strong record in supporting women. He said: 'It is important that we not only celebrate next year's centenary [of votes for women] but also that we educate young people about its significance. It was the decisive step in the political emancipation of women in this country and this money will go to projects to mark its significance and remind us all just how important it was.'

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