Aaagh – the budget!
An alternative title could be: “Let’s keep women and peasants in their place, for after all this is the world of lords and dames.”
So how will this Budget impact on women?
There is so much to say.
And Anne Summers sums it up in this twitter:
“Most misogynist government ever. And that’s saying something”.
Terese Edwards from the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children states:
‘It is a divisive, brutal and cruel budget leading to greater inequality and pain’
Destroy the Joint posted this:
“Women are (in the main) those looking after families, those caring for the disabled and elderly, those on lower incomes, and those with fewer opportunities. By any measure, this budget hits women the hardest.”
And Greens Senator Larissa Waters in her speech in Parliament talks of how this budget impacts on domestic violence victims.
So let’s look at that one more closely:
*Funding for the National Plan to Prevent Domestic Violence is being cut by $7.4 million over forward estimates.
*Cuts to the single parent payment – slashing of family payments. Sole parent families who have borne the brunt of successive budget cuts have taken another hit. (NCSMC)
*GP co-payment will make it harder for domestic violence victims to see a doctor and we know that domestic violence is the biggest cause of health problems for women.
* National Rental Affordability Scheme that would have helped more low income women secure affordable long-term rental housing will make it harder for women to leave violent homes. Women escaping domestic violence are the biggest cause of homelessness in Australia.
* Goodbye to PES, support for mums to study – this will lessen women’s ability for further education and their ability to increase their income and move out of poverty
* Big cuts to Community Legal Services. They received in this financial year $44.6mil. This will drop to $32.6mil in 2017-18. Over four years this is a real cut of over $24m. Women attempting to leave a domestic violent relationship, needing legal support to secure a domestic violence order; needing legal help to deal with family law and child support are going to find it harder to receive legal representation.
It is also important to know that Community Legal Services, particularly Women’s Legal Services have played an important role in advocating for legislative change based on their extensive experience in working with women.
According to Senator Waters the budget “…appears to slash $60 million from women’s programs.”
And this is at a time when there is serious risk to women’s services from state government funding cuts. NSW groups are lobbying around this issue is SOSwomensservices
These are just some of the budget decisions that are going to leave women increasingly impoverished.
“Despite the sad reality that child poverty has jumped a staggering 15% in the last decade; and that one in four children living in a sole parent family will be impacted by poverty tonight’s budget took a cruel path and further punished families” (NCSMC)
And there are many more budget cuts which will impact on women.
But it’s ok – our Minister for Women is a feminist!
Read what Tanya Plibersek says on The Hoopla about the effect of the budget on women.