WEL's 2016-17 Pre-Budget Submission recommends a benchmark against which Treasury should assess the fairness of budget measures and outlines WEL's policy position on specific measures.
WEL's analysis of Australian Government programs identifies instances where one government policy measure creates a barrier to other government measures succeeding. Where a contradiction exists it often makes vulnerable communities and groups with low participation rates, for example women of working age with school age children, worse off. WEL proposes the following threshold to Treasury to inform Federal budget decision-making:
- Does this budget proposal interact with other measures in a way that undermines the positive intention of either measure, with specific consideration of gender impacts?
- Does the measure disadvantage vulnerable communities in a way that requires government spending in another area to offset the negative impact with specific consideration of gender impacts?
WEL makes the following recommendations:
- That the Commonwealth provide $991 million funding over 5 years for a long term Commonwealth/State Women’s Refuges and Housing Program.
- That the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA) be re-indexed to meet the costs of providing the homelessness services that it provides. WEL supports the recommendation of the Equality Rights Alliance of $13 million to improve indexation of NAHA.
- That the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness be refunded on a four-year cycle to improve certainty for homelessness services.
- That State and Territory governments be obliged to create housing pathways as part of an upgraded national partnership agreement, as Australia is in need of a long-term housing affordability strategy funded by Commonwealth and State governments
- That the Federal Government fully fund a Women's Family Law Support Service in each state and territory at a cost of $6.5 million for five years. This is $1.28 million per annum for eight services.
- That the recommendations of the Senate Economics References Committee Corporate tax avoidance Part 1 - You cannot tax what you cannot see (August 2015) be adopted by the relevant federal departments to combat tax avoidance and aggressive minimisation in order to protect Australia’s revenue base.
- That the Commonwealth apply the marginal rate of tax to superannuation withdrawals with credit for the 15% tax paid by the fund.
- That the Commonwealth reduce the contribution caps to discourage excessive contributions into superannuation.
- That the Commonwealth retain the low-income superannuation contribution.
- That the Government retain the current eligibility arrangements for Government-funded Paid Parental Leave.