Media Release - Malcolm Turnbull's Budget for Blokes

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5 May 2016

The 2016 Budget does nothing to advance the priorities and aspirations of Australia’s women.

It locks in all the unfair disadvantage affecting women from the last two budgets and introduces new measures that disproportionality impact women.

Working mothers, female students, pregnant women, the frightened and the frail have all been let down.

The modest tax cuts will mostly benefit men, while the budget cuts will be borne mostly by women. Only 29% of Australians earning more than $80,000 are women, those earning less than that will miss out on tax cuts, with many also facing cuts to family payments.

Malcom Turnbull’s first Budget has also missed an opportunity to properly fund frontline family violence legal services that help ensure women and children experiencing violence get access to the legal support they need.

This Budget failed to reverse the cuts to legal services of the past two Liberal Budgets:

  • $24 million cut from community legal centres;
  • $15 million from Legal Aid Commissions;
  • $13 million from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services; and
  • cuts of 30 percent to community legal centres from 2017.

Other measures that disadvantage Australian women in the Turnbull Liberal Government’s budget for blokes include:

  • cuts to paid parental leave – maintains cuts from 2015 budget that will see up to 80,000 women a year lose as much as $11,800;
  • relief from childcare reforms abandoned until 2018;
  • a further $925m attack on Medicare and the Child Dental Benefits Scheme terminated;
  • cuts to pathology and diagnostic imaging that will see women paying more for pap smears and mammograms;
  • the Liberals’ plan for $100,000 degrees and the lowering of the threshold for the HECS fees dropped to $40,000; and,
  • more than 1 million families to be hit by family payments cuts but see none of the benefits of tax cuts.

Today Labor’s Leadership team of Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek, joined Shadow Minister for Women, Claire Moore, and the Status of Women Committee to launch Labor’s Women’s Budget Statement – an assessment of the Budget’s impact on Australian women and families.

It was the practice of Government to release a Women’s Budget Statement for 30 years before the Abbott Liberal Government abandoned the practice in 2013.

Labor understands that Government policies are rarely gender neutral and that assessing all policies with a focus on gender is vital if we are serious about addressing inequality. That is why we have continued to produce the report in Opposition.

Labor will continue to fight the Turnbull Government’s persistent and unfair cuts that disproportionately affect women and has a record that demonstrates a commitment to real change for gender equity and pay parity.  

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Authorised by Sharon Claydon MP, 427 Hunter Street Newcastle