Straight from the Senate - Issue 19
5.00pm | May 14, 2017
1. The Budget
On Tuesday Treasurer Scott Morrison and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull professed to deliver a budget based on fairness. Sadly, there is not much that is fair about this budget. It’s not fair to cut $22 billion from Australian schools, deliver a $65 billion tax cut to big business while raising taxes for low and middle income families and asking university students to pay more for their degrees, sooner.
Nor is it fair to cut the Family Tax Benefit, to refuse to address housing affordability, to leave in place the freeze on the Medicare rebate, or to refuse to address Australia’s stagnating wages while inequality is at a 70 year high.
"There is nothing fair about making middle class and working class Australians pay more while millionaires and multinationals pay less."– Bill Shorten MP, Budget Reply Address, 11 May 2017.
You can listen to Labor leader, Bill Shorten MP, reply to the budget and outline what a fair budget would really look like here.
What this budget shows is that the only thing Malcolm Turnbull really believes in is himself. You can listen to my full comments on the budget here.
2. Labor's Women's Budget Statement
On Wednesday Labor launched its 2017 Women’s Budget Statement.
Budget measures can impact men and women quite differently, because men and women occupy different places in the economy. Women earn less than men, they have different work patterns to men, they retire with significantly less superannuation than men, women consume differently to men - especially around healthcare - and women live longer than men.
Too often, these differences have been ignored by governments, and negative impacts on women have been overlooked.
In 1983 the Hawke Labor Government introduced the Women’s Budget Statement to make sure women's interests were clearly identified.
It was abolished by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott and has not been reintroduced by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. However, Labor continues to release its own Women’s Budget Statement to ensure these issues are not forgotten.
At the launch, my colleagues, Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Chris Bowen, Linda Burney, Sharon Claydon and Emma Husar spoke on the importance of gendered analysis in policy making and budgeting. You can read the women's budget statement here.
A Labor Government will not only reintroduce the Women’s Budget Statement but will take into consideration the needs of Australian women when making budget decisions.
3. Two years in the Senate
Last week marks two years since I entered the Senate. It is a true privilege to represent you in the federal parliament.
In the last two years I've completed an important inquiry into gender inequality in women’s superannuation and retirement savings, established an inquiry into workforce gender segregation, which is a key driver of the gender pay gap, and exposed the government’s lack of policy or modelling on how we are to meet our international obligations under the Paris Climate Agreement, demanding they do more to tackle climate change.
I will continue to fight for a fairer economy, stronger action on climate change, equality for women, and a more just society for all. Thank you for your support.