An Economy with Care at its Centre

CEW Pre-Budget Submission 2022-23
An Economy with Care at its Centre

The pandemic exposed the fragility of our economic assumptions and our lack of investment in the social infrastructure crucial to a strong, functional economy. As we rebuild, Australia is faced with an opportunity to build towards a more vibrant and prosperous Australia.

Read: Pre-Budget Submission January 2022

Our key untapped resource – women

Australia needs a comprehensive plan for growth, which closes the widening social and economic gap between Australians along gender, class, racial, cultural, abelism and geographical lines.

We know women have been hardest hit by job losses and ongoing underemployment. ABS data shows that of the 281,000 jobs lost across Australia over the period June-September 2021, 60% were jobs lost by women.[i] Women have shouldered the bulk of increased caring responsibilities and faced growing rates of domestic and family violence. During the pandemic women were twice as likely as men to take on the unpaid domestic work, and more likely than men to take on caring responsibilities.[ii]

Leveraging women’s participation and leadership is one of the most effective actions for business and government to boost the Australian economy. Economic modelling by KPMG shows that halving the workforce participation gap between men and women would increase Australia’s annual GDP by $60 billion by 2038.[iii]A budget that delivers strong economic growth and improvements in living standards will require investment in people, placing care at the centre of our economy, and intentional efforts to clearly understand the impact of policy and spending on women and men equally.

CEW recommends the following key policy solutions for the 2022-23 Budget:

  1. Expand the Commonwealth Paid Parental Leave scheme for men and women
  2. Make quality early childhood education and care accessible
  3. Make work a safe place for all
  4. Invest in well-paid, secure jobs in growth industries, including care sectors

Find the full submission here: Pre-Budget Submission January 2022


[i]Australians Investing in Women/Equity Economics, 2021, Changing the Trajectory: Investing In Women for a Fairer Future,

[ii]ABS, 2021, ‘Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey: Women spent more time than men on unpaid work in May’,

[iii]KPMG, 2018, Ending workforce discrimination against women,