Will the Federal Budget Help Our Most Vulnerable Women?

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

In a sad state of affairs, Aussie women over 55 are super vulnerable. They are less employable than younger women. They grew up with fewer economic and political rights. What’s more, if they escape from abusive relationships at this stage of their lives, they restart with basically nothing.

This is why it’s important that women over 55 get the right support that they need. If they can’t get a job due to their circumstances, they need to be able to easily access JobSeeker. Additionally, once they’re a part of this scheme, they need enough money to live. 

Yet, as it stands, JobSeeker isn’t providing these women with enough money. The price of food, rent, and power has rapidly sped past the amount they’re receiving. Some folks are choosing between being warm, eating food, and paying their bills.

Fortunately, Channel Seven has reported that next week’s budget will increase the base rate of JobSeeker payments for people over 55. This amount is expected to be modest but somewhat better than nothing. Channel Seven has noted that this increase will be less than $100 a week. 

On April 2, our Treasurer, Jim Chalmers, wouldn’t confirm or deny if this increase was happening. However, he did state that Australian women over 55 deserved more JobSeeker money. 

“There will be responsible cost-of-living relief in the budget, and it will focus on the most vulnerable people,” said Chalmers. “There will be a number of elements to it.”

“The most vulnerable part of the unemployed population in Australia, is at the moment, women over 55.”

So, what happens now? Well, we play the waiting game. On May 9, the Federal Government will go through its budget. Let’s just hope Chalmers puts our money where his mouth is.

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.

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