On Tuesday night, the Treasurer announced a budget surplus of $7 million, amongst cheers from his party.
I mean, it’s great news – we’re back in the black apparently, with this plan of action.
But we are also possibly six weeks away from a federal election, so the ‘celebrations’ are inevitably politically charged.
What we were promised, as women, prior to the budget announcement was a big push from the Coalition to “secure the female vote.”
On the topic of women…here’s our video from International Women’s Day. Post continues after video.
Sure, there were some really positive initiatives announced for domestic violence and women in STEM subject careers. But on the whole, women are not the winners in this budget.
There was no talk about superannuation, nothing to work towards creating a level playing field for men and women in economic and social opportunity.
Nothing about making the gender pay gap smaller.
No talk of reducing the means-testing on childcare and family tax benefits, which is one of the main reasons women don’t or can’t go back to work.
We got more preschool places for children, but no funding to cater to the centres and workers (a majority of whom are women) and their soon-to-be bigger classes of kids.
There’s more money for female dominated sectors like schools, hospitals, residential aged care, but only enough to cater to swelling demand, not enough to translate into higher wages.
In terms of giving big money to stimulate jobs and stagnant wages, we were left out of the picture.
We should have read between the lines when the women’s groups got left off the invitation list for the budget lockup event itself (yes…that actually happened.)
But if we look to the positives, what did we actually get? What was the good news for women?
We’ve broken it down:
The budget includes the Commonwealth’s biggest ever spend ($328 million) on a three year national plan to reduce violence against women and children.