The October 2022-23 Women’s Budget Statement (WBS) affirms and extends the Australian Government’s commitment to ensuring that a gender lens is imposed on all Budget measures. For example, we see this through the upfront commitment to run gender responsive budgeting with a view to achieving gender equality across Budget outcomes.
Further, in the WBS the Albanese Government goes beyond naming the four (4) thematic areas (advancing gender equality, women’s economic equality, ending violence against women, and gender equality, health and wellbeing) by delivering policy and funding that is targeted within each of these issues. For example, the Government has prioritised women’s healthcare across the health system, increased funding to childcare support with a view to alleviating both cost of living and women’s workforce participation numbers, and made changes to paid parental leave and access to subsidised early childhood education.
The WBS measures arrive at a time of increasing disparity. The gender pay gap is 14.1 per cent, and as the Albanese Government points out, Australia is ranked 43rd of 146 countries in the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Index. Given this, the Albanese Government has plans to introduce a National Strategy to Achieve Gender Equality that will guide future actions and work toward the Government’s goal of an Australia that is one of the most gender-equal countries in the world.
Below we highlight key policy measures across the four (4) thematic areas in the WBS.
Key points of the WBS in relation to the broad thematic area of advancing gender equality can be summarised as:
In view of this, key measures outlined in the WBS include:
Overall, this is a WBS that lays the evidentiary foundation for further support measures in later budgets which should only lead to positive outcomes from a gender equality perspective.
If you’d like to discuss the changes announced in the Federal Budget, please get in touch with our Tax Advisory team.
1 By KPMG, the Diversity Council of Australia and WGEA