The National Foundation for Australian Women has released (20.5.23) a series of expert papers highlighting critical policy areas and economic priorities for women following this year’s Labor federal budget.
‘The second Albanese Budget builds on the initiatives introduced in the “bread and butter” butter from October 2022. Women’s economic equality was a priority last year, with changes proposed to childcare and paid parental leave (PPL) to enable economic activity. These measures come into force in July 2023, although some of the design issues around the proposed extension of PPL are yet to be finalised. This year the concerns of women are recognised across portfolios and the Women’s Budget Paper presented a range of evidence to support the need for action.
‘NFAW welcomes the welfare reforms that include support for single parents, the unemployed, energy fee relief, wage increases for aged care workers (the majority of whom are women), investment in Medicare for those on low-incomes, increased rent assistance, increased investment in housing and help to transition to clean energy. However we note that these changes amount to less than 2 per cent of the welfare budget and have only a small impact on living standards and poverty.
‘… NFAW is positive about the Government’s women’s agenda but more needs to be done. The only way to ensure funding for the growing cost of essential services and to address poverty is to increase revenue. The Government needs to lead the public debate on tax reform, including reviewing the Stage 3 Tax cuts.’