The Abbott Budget: What It Means For Women

It has been the practice for over thirty years for Federal Governments to produce a Women’s Budget Statement as one element of the official Budget Papers.  In 2014 this practice ceased without explanation from the Government.

The National Foundation for Australian Women, a non-politically aligned feminist organisation, in conjunction with experts from a range of organisations, has taken up the task of analysing the implications of the Budget 2014-15 through a gender lens.

NFAW, with other women’s organisations, is committed to examining the potentially differential impacts of policies and their outcomes for men and for women, and whether the consequences of policies, intended or unintended, may adversely impact on women.

There is an average gap of 17 per cent between the incomes of men and women.  This gap is not decreasing.  Women take time out of the work force for child bearing, child rearing, and for care responsibilities for extended family members to a much greater extent than do men.   As a consequence women have lower rates of savings for retirement, and most women will eventually become wholly or partially dependent on the Age Pension.  Women are also underrepresented in the well-paying occupations and over represented in the feminised industries that are lower paid. Their career progression and therefore representation in the senior executive levels is often interrupted by the periods of unpaid care work and consequently women continue to be underrepresented on boards and other senior positions in the workforce.  Many older women have not had an extensive history of work-force attachment, and are unlikely to be good prospects for working until age 70.  Housing security is markedly worse for mature women than for men.

To read the whole report by the Foundation, please download it here.