You’re a woman living in Australia, the federal budget has come and gone, and you’re wondering where you fit. It’s certainly been painted as a less dramatic budget than its predecessors, but little has been said about women — more specifically, how it will affect them.
For Research Fellow at the University of Technology Sydney and commentator Eva Cox, it was a “disappointing budget for women”. Cox believes the Turnbull government is doing “very little” about the low income of women, and says there’s “nothing that says [they] really care that, economically, women are far behind”.
This may not be immediately clear, but dig a little bit deeper, Cox says, and the government’s “obsession” with getting women into work betrays the fact unpaid work is still painfully undervalued.
Paid parental leave
One of the things that hasn’t been mentioned much in analysis of this year’s budget is the government’s position on Paid Parental Leave.
Although many argue changes and cuts to PPL are officially off the table, Cox claims it’s not good news for parents just yet.
“I suspect they just put it on hold and they haven’t given it up on it,” she tells Mamamia, adding they’re probably just waiting for the “numbers” to push the changes through.
In fact, she says the fact PPL is all but ignored in this budget may be “cause for concern”, because it appears the government intends to push its original proposals. The very “fact it isn’t there”, she says, is “something to be wary of”.
So, in short, keep your eyes peeled. Cuts and changes to PPL may not have come on Tuesday, but that’s not to say they aren’t in the pipeline.
We talk to Malcolm Turnbull about the anti-vax movement. Post continues after video.
Childcare reforms passed by the Senate earlier this year are planned for the beginning of the next financial year. Because of this, there was nothing major going on in terms of childcare changes in this year’s budget.
According to Cox though, the budget did not address key criticisms of the current system and how the childcare system will essentially eliminate the ability of mums who don’t work to access help.
In cutting subsidies for women without standard 9-5 jobs, Cox says the government are banking on an assumption that a heap of the subsidies dolled out go to parents who don’t work, but still want to outsource child care duties. We know, of course, this isn’t the case.
Cox believes all this does is “ignore the needs of the child” who misses opportunities to socialise with other children, as well ignoring the needs of the mother who may have more than one child on her hands.
Australian Greens Deputy Leader Larissa Walters has criticised the government for their lack of action on domestic violence.
“The Government is putting women’s lives at risk by chronically underfunding domestic violence services and pushing women to financial hardship in order to raise revenue,” she said in a statement.