Archives for May 2016

Powerful coalition of women call for both parties to stop their war on women

15 May 2016. With the 2016/17 Budget failing to bring Australian women into the centre of the economy and pushing many further into poverty as well as cuts to overseas aid which will hurt vulnerable women in our region, the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) – supported by a range of academic institutions and women’s groups – is calling for both major parties to stop their war on women.

According to the NFAW this budget is far from fair. It provides tax breaks for the wealthy, while low to middle income families are hit by ‘zombie’ savings from the Abbott-Hockey horror budgets. In addition, it lacks investments in education and training reforms.

Health spending is being heavily cut and will disadvantage women, particularly those with chronic conditions. In fact, by the end of week one of the election campaign the Government was trying to negotiate a compromise with the medical profession on the so-called pathology ‘savings’.

Notwithstanding $100m for a national awareness strategy, services for women enduring or exiting domestic violence are suffering funding cuts. Delays will increase in the Family Court. New funding and eligibility changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme will disproportionately disadvantage women while pushing costs of services for those left outside back onto state and territory hospitals and law enforcement systems.

The proposed taxation benefits for female small-medium enterprise (SME) entrepreneurs are oversold, with most of the returns going to SMEs with male heads.

In fact, superannuation changes are the only single area where changes are beneficial for women.

Following careful, expert, non-partisan analysis of this budget NFAW makes 50 recommendations across a range of policy areas – workplace relations, health, education, housing, domestic violence, taxation, superannuation and more, as well as some related to machinery of government and data.

These recommendations include:

  • Committing $1billion over five years for a long term and securely funded Commonwealth/State national campaign for 24 hour accessible women’s refuges, frontline outreach services and transitional accommodation
  • The office for Women be properly resourced, the gender portal of the Australian Bureau of Statistics be maintained and enhanced and support for the National Women Alliances be retained
  • Adopting the recommendations of the Senate Economic References Committee
  • Financial and criminal sanction against fraudulent VET providers be adequate to restore public confidence in the VET sector and its regulatory framework
  • Immediately reverse the freeze on the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) services and continue to support bulkbilling of pathology and diagnostic services
  • The budget be revised to increase the base rate of allowances
  • Respond to the Willing to Work Report with measures that address the barriers faced by older women to ensure that women have a fair share of the outcomes
  • Increase expenditure on aid investments which target gender equality as a principal objective, including investment in preventing and responding to violence against women
  • Properly resource the Office for Women (OfW) and maintain the gender portal in the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

It is time for both parties to call a halt on this ongoing war on women. As the NFAW’s 2016-2017 Budget gender lens clearly demonstrates there is an entrenched bias against women and it has to stop. It is not good for the country, community or economy,” concluded NFAW President Dr Mary Crawford and Visiting Scholar, Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

 

The full list of contributing editors including Professor Marian Baird, Professor of Gender and Employment Relations, University of Sydney Business School, Marie Coleman AO PSM DUniv (Hon.), Chair of the National Foundation of Australian Women (NFAW) Social Policy Committee, Dr Helen Hodgson, Associate Professor, Curtin Law School, Women in Social Economic Research Cluster, Curtin University, Helen L’Orange AM, Deputy Chair, Women’s Electoral Lobby (WEL) Australia, Ruth Medd, Chair, Women on Boards, Sue Salthouse, Council Member, University of Canberra, Stephanie Serhan, School of Accountancy, QUT and Professor Miranda Stewart, Professor and Director of the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, and Professor at the University of Melbourne Law School in contained in the attached manifesto as is the 50 recommendations and detailed analysis.

For further information contact Marie Coleman AO PSM DUniv (Hon.), Chair of the National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) Social Policy Committee on 0414 483 067 or Viv Hardy on 0411 208 951 or Kristie Hardy at CallidusPR on (02) 92834113

The National Women’s Alliances womenvote.org.au website is a hub of information on casting an effective, informed and independent vote.

The five National Women’s Alliances have come together to encourage women to use their votes in the 2016 Federal election. It’s important that women’s voices are heard in this election. We want women to vote in a way that reflects the diverse lives and experiences of women in Australia.

But really using your vote means more than just turning up on election day and sticking your ballot in the box. Your vote needs to be effective, informed, and independent.

Please visit the site, share with your networks, post on your facebook pages.

Like es4Ws Facebook Page, like the NWA Facebook Page, retweet Women! Use your vote womenvote.org.au

Winter Tales at the National Library – 26 June Alice Giles, Harpist

WINTER TALES WITH ALICE GILES
A PATH WITH A HARP
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When
24 June 2016, 2pm-3pm
Where
National Library of Australia
Conference Room, Level 4
$15 (includes afternoon tea)

BOOK NOW
Alice Giles is celebrated as one of the world’s leading harpists. She performs extensively as a guest artist at many international festivals, regularly appears with major Australian chamber and symphony orchestras and makes annual tours throughout Europe, Asia and America. She performed at Mawson Station in 2011 to commemorate the Centenary of the first Australian Antarctic Expedition. She is an acclaimed teacher and since leaving the ANU School of Music now teaches at the University of Sydney and the Australian National Academy of Music. She has commissioned many new works by Australian composers as Director of the Seven Harp Ensemble (SHE). Her numerous recordings and touring information can be found at www.alicegiles.com.

Followed by afternoon tea.

In association with the Australian Women’s Archive Project

ANU modelling shows how the 2016 budget really affects your hip pocket

As reported in the Canberra Times on 12 May, Australia’s poorest families will be hardest hit when all the measures factored into last week’s budget are implemented, modelling by the Australian National University shows.

Zombie taxes will hurt the poor

Independent modelling shows lower income families will be least well-off under current budget plans.

Single-parent families in the poorest 20 per cent of households will be worst affected by the 2018-19 financial year, mainly through scheduled cuts to family tax benefits and hikes in tobacco excise.

Those families will be $1407 worse off a year, the equivalent of 3.6 per cent of average incomes for that group.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, on the campaign trail in Penrith with one-year-old Freya Brown, said last week “the budget is very fair”.

Couples with children in the poorest fifth of households will lose $1146, or 2.7 per cent of average incomes, should all budget measures be successfully introduced.

By contrast, relatively well-off couples with children in the second-top income quintile will be $392 a year better off by 2018-19, modelling of the budget’s impact by ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods found.

“The analysis … clearly shows that the proposed measures in the 2016-17 budget would impact low income families with children more significantly than other families,” the report says. “The losses for the middle and top income groups are proportionately much less than low income families.”

It concluded the budget will have a “regressive impact”.