Single mothers, older women left behind – ACOSS Post Budget Gender Analysis

24 May 2021

The ACOSS Post-Budget Gender Analysis examines the impact of the Federal Budget on women’s economic security, finding that women on low incomes, including single parents and older women, are being left behind.

The ACOSS analysis shows that more than thirty times the amount of funding pledged in the Women’s Budget Statement is going into tax cuts, which do nothing to help women on low incomes.

Australian Council of Social Service CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said:

“In the lead up to the Federal Budget, women banded together to send a strong message that ‘Enough is Enough’.

“While the Government has heard these calls to some extent, with some welcome initiatives targeted at women, overall, the Budget does not meaningfully deliver on the need for structural and cultural change.

“Instead, the Federal Budget, like many budgets before, locks in gender inequality by failing to address that our tax, employment and superannuation systems are stacked in favour of men.

“At the same time, the Budget does nothing to specifically support single mothers on low incomes or older women struggling to find paid work and facing homelessness.

“The Family Home Guarantee low home loan deposit avenue will do nothing to help women on the lowest incomes secure affordable housing, including 450,000 older women at risk of homelessness.

“To help women on low incomes, we needed to see social security payments brought above the poverty line; employment services that deal with gender and age discrimination; and investment in affordable housing.

“In contrast, $30 billion a year is going out the door in income and business tax cuts, which as a package will entrench gender inequality and endanger future funding for services that women rely on,” Dr Goldie said.

Key issues highlighted include:
• Tax breaks reinforce gender income inequality
• The budget failed to deliver the income support increase needed urgently for women on low incomes
• The lack of affordable housing for women on low income women
• Labour market programs do not meet women’s needs of women
• More investment is needed in the care workforce and to improve pay and conditions for women
• Further action is needed in child care to meet the needs of single mothers and First Nations communities
• Super reform is needed to address women’s lower retirement incomes
• More funding is needed to support women’s safety, crisis and support services, and economic security.

Download ACOSS Post-Budget Gender Analysis – Spotlight on the Budget: Impact on women on low incomes