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CEW welcomes significant Federal Budget

CEW welcomes significant Federal Budget to enable women’s economic participation and support the most vulnerable women across the economy

Chief Executive Women (CEW) welcomes the Federal Budget and Women’s Budget Statement as an impactful Budget for women, with crucial measures to enable women’s participation in the economy, while supporting vulnerable women who are most impacted by cost-of-living pressures.

CEW President Susan Lloyd-Hurwitz applauds a budget that includes significant measures to help advance women’s economic participation and support vulnerable members of our society. CEW welcomes the government recognising gender equality as essential for strengthening our economy, our society and our nation.

“This is a Budget that delivers for women. At a time when we face a challenging economic outlook as a nation, CEW welcomes a budget that invests in measures to unlock women’s participation, one of the most important levers to increase productivity and drive prosperity for all.

“We acknowledge the significant work led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Minister for Women Katy Gallagher, Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers and Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth, alongside a team of leaders and experts, in shaping a budget that is both good for women and good for all. This budget sends a powerful signal that gender-balanced decision-making drives strong economic outcomes.

“When we empower all women to prosper, we create better outcomes for families, communities and the economy. By prioritising women’s economic participation, we can realise the full potential of our economy, boost productivity and create a more prosperous future for all.

“We now look forward to working in partnership with the government to develop the National Gender Equality strategy to empower women to maximise their economic participation” Lloyd-Hurwitz said.

CEW also welcomes Budget measures to support women’s economic participation and vulnerable women, including:

  • Extension of Single Parent Payment until the youngest child turns 14, good public policy that will benefit families struggling to make ends meet
  • Investing in the care economy through funding a 15% wage increase for aged care workers
  • Increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance
  • Investing $72.4 million in training to build and retain the Early Childhood workforce, including backfilling positions while training is undertaken
  • $134.1 million over 4 years for the Office of the eSafety Commissioner
  • $326.7 million over 4 years for the National Plan to End Violence against women and children and dedicated funding for a First Nations National Plan
  • Focus on new health measures that recognise women’s health and improve access to health

CEW welcomes the Women’s Budget Statement commitment to embed gender responsive budgeting and build the capability of the APS for implementation. This is a vital step to ensure that our nation builds a budget that works for everyone.

CEW past President Sue Morphet said:

“CEW members are women leaders who work to empower all women. CEW welcomes a Budget that prioritises support for vulnerable women who need it most. We know that most sole parent families are headed by women and one in three of these families is living in poverty. The extension of the Single Parent Payment will provide crucial support to women who have reduced opportunity to participate in paid work because they are caring for children.

“CEW acknowledges the increase to JobSeeker, Austudy and Youth Allowance payments. However, it is vital that we have a clear pathway to adequate payments. JobSeeker must keep pace with the rising cost of living to lift people out of poverty and support them into work. CEW has joined with many others calling for this change, including the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce and the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee.”

“The increase to JobSeeker for people over 55 is a welcome step for older women, who are increasingly the face of economic insecurity in Australia. The rate of older women experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness, has increased by 30% in the last five years.

“The Women’s Budget Statement sets Australia on a path to budgeting that works for everyone. Gender responsive budgeting will ensure intentional focus on policy impacts on women, so we can leverage our highly educated and skilled women to participate fully in the economy and drive economic prosperity.

“As CEW welcomes this budget, we acknowledge there is more work to be done to leverage women’s participation and leadership and we look forward to working in partnership with the Government to achieve this.” Morphet said.

CEW looks forward to working with the Government on a range of further measures to improve the economic participation of women through the National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality, including:

  • Removing the Activity Test for the Child Care Subsidy. This would unlock access to early education for at least 126,000 children from the poorest homes, while enabling secondary
    earners – predominantly women – to fully participate in the workforce.
  • Investment in well-paid jobs across the care sector, with the introduction of an immediate interim 10% wage increase for the early education workforce to help mitigate critical
    workforce shortages and to attract and retain talented educators for the long-term. Access to early education enables women’s economic participation, while driving productivity. It is also a vital growth industry for the future.
  • Extending the superannuation guarantee to Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave to provide women with economic security in retirement and to reduce the superannuation gap between women and men.