Budget 2017: Women & Young People
Sadly the 2017 budget does not directly address women’s issues and a lot of cuts in the social services sector, such as the changes to family tax benefits, will indirectly affect women.
- Only $3.4 million will be spent over 2 years in domestic violence units, this is concerning as domestic violence is a leading cause in death among women in Australia.
- Just $39 million is in place for legal centres, with the government claiming that they will “prioritise” frontline family law and domestic violence services but will not commit to it
Considering domestic violence is a leading cause in death for women – this is a miniscule amount of money. Whilst any money committed to domestic violence is positive, it’s coming from a pretty low base of resources and lack of coherency between state and federal service provisions.
One good thing happening is that cases involving domestic violence will no longer facilitate the cross-examination of victims by alleged perpetrators.
The government also plans to invest approximately $65 million over the next four years in the BreastScreen Australia Program. But program is implemented to only help women ages 70-74.
The young people of Australia should be concerned about this budget. Ultimately, it’s making students pay what is being called “a bit more” for their study and then makes them start paying back their HECS debt earlier. The federal government is lowering the HECS threshold from $54,000 to $42,000 , whilst increasing university fees by 7.5% of the next 4 years. Whilst they dropped plans to cut university funding by 20% , the government has instead replaced it with 2.5% efficiency dividend. This means there is a 2.8 billion dollar cut in university funding. A major concern from this budget is the notion that the lowering of the HECS threshold is most likely going to affect women because they are low-income earners.
Based on modelling by David Bond, over 116,00 people will now have to start paying back HELP debt, and of this, 64% are women.