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No buck for the bang in ‘women-centred’ budget

Media Release
Larissa Waters 26 Oct 2022

Labor’s Women’s Budget Statement outlines the problems women face, but offers very little when it comes to delivering the solutions women need.

On top of waiting years for half-measures on PPL and childcare, women are offered partial indexation rather than a funding boost for frontline services, while billionaires and big corporations get massive handouts and tax cuts.  

Lines attributable to Greens leader in the Senate and spokesperson on Women, Larissa Waters

“After talking up their ‘women-centred’ budget for months now, the Albanese Government has offered up an incredibly underwhelming budget for women. 

“After 9 years of inaction under the Coalition, it was a low bar to clear, but redirecting existing funds and dangling the promise of better things in the future just isn’t going to cut it when it comes to women’s safety and economic security.

“Cheaper childcare is a welcome outcome for women, but it’s still not free and there is nothing to address the early childhood workforce crisis. And instead of raising the rate of income support payments above the poverty line, they’ve chosen to give tax cuts to the wealthy. 

On the National plan to end violence against women and children
“The new National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children was released last week with great fanfare and laudable goals. But ambitious aims need to be backed with funding.

“The women’s safety sector has repeatedly called for a $1B per year to ensure funding meets demand. And yet the government’s budget response was to re-badge and re-shuffle previous funding commitments, adding only partial indexation and a fraction of the workers needed. 

“Partial indexation is not a base funding increase. And the Albanese Government shouldn’t be trying to spin it as one.

On a standalone National plan to end violence against First Nations women and children
“A First Nations Action Plan and a standalone National Plan for First Nations women is a matter of national priority and needs to be treated that way, but the Budget failed to dedicate funding for consultation or development of the Plan.  

On Paid Parental Leave
“We support moves to strengthen Australia’s parental leave scheme, but Labor’s plan is too slow and doesn’t include superannuation or replacement wages. Families, and particularly women, have waited long enough for fairer leave and deserve action.

“If the Jobs summit convinced the Minister for Women to ‘step up’ on paid parental leave, why keep women waiting?.

“Fairer Paid Parental Leave is a no-brainer that benefits everyone - parents, children and the economy. If the Albanese government had axed the Stage 3 tax cuts, we could easily afford it.

On Respect @ Work

“Implementing all Respect @ Work recommendations is overdue and we welcome the government’s Bill and the funding commitments to support the Human Rights Commission and Fair Work Commission to take stronger action on workplace sexual harassment. 

“We are also pleased to see funding for Working Women’s Centres across Australia to provide independent, expert advice and support to workers who experience sexual harassment.  

On Reproductive Healthcare
“It is crystal clear that reproductive healthcare across Australia is a postcode lottery and too many women, especially in rural and regional areas, struggle to get access. There is nothing in this Budget to remove those barriers such as adding abortion care to Medicare, ensuring public hospitals provide abortion care, or resourcing the full suite of birthing options for women. 

On Birthing on Country
“We know that First Nations parents can experience trauma when forced to be away from Country when giving birth. 

The commitment to develop a Birthing on Country Centre for Excellence is a great first step, and must prompt the roll out of access to culturally-safe care for First Nation families across Australia.

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