2021-2022 Women’s Budget Statement – A Rationale and Rations for women.

2021-2022 FEDERAL BUDGET

“The Women’s Budget Statement is full of promises. It provides a strong rationale for addressing a range of issues, but fails to match this with newly funded initiatives. The government has missed its opportunity. This is very disappointing,” said Ms Sobski.

It is a mixed picture and a missed opportunity to do much more for those in the caring economy and those in need of care and support.

WELA is part of NFAW independent gender lens analysis.

WEL Australia welcomes the child care package worth $1.7 billion over five years or $340 million a year.

This will assist families with a second and more children. It has been headlined as supporting women’s workforce participation and WELA will monitor what it actually delivers for women and their families.

“The Budget powering Australians to a great comeback after COVID has not delivered much more for women’s safety and economic security,” said Jozefa Sobski, National Convenor of WEL Australia.

“Women’s organisations were expecting more than top ups in existing programs or more of the same inadequate levels of funding to meet the pressing and continuing needs identified by frontline services.”

“The Women’s Budget Statement is full of promises. It provides a strong rationale for addressing a range of issues, but fails to match this with newly funded initiatives. The government has missed its opportunity. This is very disappointing,” said Ms Sobski.

“When the Child Care initiative is extracted from the $1.8 billion to improve women’s workforce participation and economic security, there is $100 million to cure all other ills, like pay inequity, more women in leadership positions, more women undertaking Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for the jobs of the future or re-entering the workforce after a career break. This is just $20 million a year across the country.”

“Women’s Safety initiatives have been allocated $998 million over four years or $250 million a year.

The Government provided $150 million in last year’s budget to bolster family, domestic and sexual violence supports during the pandemic, of which $130 million, went to state and territory governments to invest in specialist services to ensure the safety of women and children most at risk of violence targeting particularly vulnerable cohorts. Spread over all states and territories, it does not amount to very much.”

“This level of funding continues. It is spread over frontline services, financial support for women fleeing a violent relationship, support for refugee women and safety for other migrant women, better support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and children, expansion of the Safe Places program and further support for temporary visa holders.”

“This additional funding for Women’s Safety is very welcome, but unfortunately is not matched by a concomitant increase in funding under the National Housing and Homelessness Agreement. Homelessness among older women is a growing problem.

This is also the program which funds women’s refuges. The Government has, however, allocated funds to meet the wage requirements of workers in the sector providing it with greater certainty,” said Ms Sobski.

It is a mixed picture and a missed opportunity to do much more for those in the caring economy and those in need of care and support.

Media Inquiries: Jozefa Sobski 0403 895929 (WELA is part of NFAW independent gender lens analysis.)