How the Federal Budget Is Supporting Women

Warning: This article deals with the topic of domestic violence. It could be triggering for some readers.

More money, increased JobSeeker payments, and support for parents are some of the ways the Federal Government is aiming to support women in its 2023 budget.

However, is this all the budget is doing to help women during a cozzie livs car crash? Furthermore, how has the general public and our experts reacted to such policies? Let’s go through the details right now.

JobSeeker Increase for Over 55s

According to the 2023 Federal Budget, JobSeeker recipients over the age of 55 are on the precipice of receiving some monetary assistance. In the near future, they’ll be receiving an extra $92.10 per fortnight.

This is huge because Centrelink’s JobSeeker has failed these people. And to be precise, it has failed many an older woman who is a part of this programme. 

JobSeeker women over 55 currently have it rough. They’re considered less employable than younger women, and if they escape from abusive relationships, they restart with basically nothing. Yet, as it stands, some of these JobSeekers don’t have the means to cover their grocery bills, their electricity bills, and their rent. More support is urgently needed.

During his budget speech, our Treasurer, Jim Chalmers said, “The majority of people aged 55 and over on JobSeeker are women, many with little to no savings or superannuation, and who are at risk of homelessness. So tonight, we’re extending the extra support for those aged 60 and over to include Australians aged 55 and over.

However, it’s worth noting that some Aussies aren’t stoked with the above proposal. They believe that this Centrelink upgrade isn’t broad enough. Their argument being: A lot of young welfare recipients are also currently struggling to get by. 

For instance, the Antipoverty Centre declared, “We must end age discrimination in welfare policy. Already, 200,000 people on Youth Allowance are forced to survive in even deeper poverty than those on JobSeeker.”

“Rent is not cheaper for people under 55. Groceries are not cheaper for people under 55. Electricity, phone bill, fuel, clothes, none of the essentials cost us less based on age.”

During the Federal Budget announcement, the Antipoverty Centre’s arguments were not directly addressed. Instead, Chalmers announced that Aussies on Youth Allowance will receive an extra $40 per fortnight. He also said that JobSeekers under 55 will receive the same bump in cash.

Centrelink: The Parenting Payments Increase

Single parents are set to receive an increased payment of $922.10 each fortnight until their youngest kid turns 14. What’s more, single parents on JobSeeker will receive an extra $176.90 per fortnight.

These folks have to work while raising a family and trying not to succumb to Australia’s cost of living pressures.

As it stands, Aussies can’t get Centrelink Parenting Payments once their kid turns eight. However, as previously noted, Anthony Albanese, is going to raise this cut-off age. 

“I know firsthand what it’s like to grow up with a single mum doing it tough,” said our Prime Minster. “And we want to make sure that the children of single-parent families have the best opportunities in life.”

“This change to single-parent payments is about making things fairer for parents who are already doing it tough. I know this will make a big and immediate difference for tens of thousands of mums, dads, and children right across Australia.”

Yet, before you get your hopes up, it’s worth noting that this change isn’t in the bag just yet. This is because Labor will have to pass legislation in order to make this promise a reality.

If Labor gets this change through, single parents should start to see this in September. 

Now, of course, being a single parent isn’t explicitly women’s business. Dad’s can be single parents, and so can every enby. However, the Federal Government is framing this issue in a gendered light.

In a Federal Budget statement, Labor explained, “Many single parents, overwhelmingly women, face difficulty balancing caring responsibilities and work. These difficulties do not end when their child turns eight.”

“We also know that many single mothers have experienced violence from a previous partner and are at greater risk of financial hardship. They need more support.”

The National Plan to End Violence Against Women

As per Chalmers’ speech, Labor is putting around $590 million into its National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children. This money will be used to improve the safety of women across the country.

If this article brings up any issues for you or anyone you know, or if you just feel like you need to speak to someone, please contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service. If you are in immediate danger, call 000.

Related: Your Five Minute Guide to the 2023 Federal Budget

Related: How the Federal Budget Is Planning to Transform Your Healthcare

Read all of The Latch’s Federal Budget 2023 coverage here.

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