Cost of living, job security worse for working women under Morrison government: Survey

Michele O’Neil

ACTU President Michele O’Neil. Source: Women's Agenda.

The cost of living and job security has worsened under the Morrison government, a new survey of working Australian women has found.

More than three in four Australian women surveyed by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) say their cost of living has increased under the Morrison government, compared to 67% of men. Meanwhile, 55% of women say their job security has worsened, compared to 45% of men.

Women are also more likely than men to believe the economy has become worse under Morrison’s leadership, as they continue to be paid, on average, $483.30 less per week than men (when you account for total earnings including bonuses and overtime).

“This government has talked a lot about its commitment to women but after nearly a decade in power women are worse off, with no improvement in sight,” said President of the ACTU, Michele O’Neil.

“Women, on average, now earn $483.30 per week less than men – not by chance, but because the Morrison Government has done nothing to address the root causes of pay inequity.”

The survey of 3000 women commissioned by the ACTU comes as the union releases its latest report titled Morrison Missing – A Record of his Failure for Working Women, which outlines how the current federal government has failed to support working women through the past few years.

The report highlights the gender pay gap, the superannuation gap with women retiring with about half the amount of super as men, and the reality that women are more likely to be in insecure and low wage work.

It also points out that women are more likely to experience sexual harassment at work, have no guaranteed right to paid domestic violence leave, and rely on an inadequate paid parental leave scheme.

While the government has boasted about the recent (slight) drop to the national gender pay gap, analysis shows the small decreases have been driven by stagnant wages across the board, rather than an increase in women’s wages.

O’Neil said the Morrison government has “gone missing” at every opportunity to enact real change for women.

“Progress for working women has stalled and in some cases gone backwards under the watch of the Morrison Government,” she said.

“While the Morrison Government refuses to ensure that super is paid on parental leave or regulate the underpayment of women dominated workforces the superannuation gap has continued to grow – a gap that now results in women retiring with half the super of men and older women becoming the fastest growing homeless demographic.

“When working women vote this year they will remember how little the promises of this Prime Minister and his Government have meant, they will not forget being let down.”

This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.

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