Tuesday night’s budget papers are set to include a financial promise to Australian women: but one that will have to be cashed in at a later date.
Minister for Women and Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer says the federal budget will outline a plan for a “Women’s Economic Statement” that will cover new policies to get women back to work, improve their retirement savings and help them make financial decisions.
However, the exact funding and policy measures will not be unveiled until the September sitting session of Parliament, with the ABC reporting the funding will be included in the budget’s “contingency reserve” for future policies.
Speaking on the ABC’s AM program this morning, O’Dwyer said the policies will be wide-ranging and designed to help with both improving women’s workplace participation, as well as including concessions to allow women to save more for retirement to help close the superannuation gap, which sees women’s superannuation balances finish up about 42% behind their male counterparts at retirement age.
Fairfax reports the policies will build on the government’s previous commitments to improve workforce participation, fight domestic violence and loosen concessional contribution cap rules to allow women to contribute more freely to their super funds.
The policy suite will also look to tackle women’s financial literacy, reports Fairfax, amid concerns three-quarters of Australian women aren’t aware of important figures like their current superannuation balances.
However, the exact details of the plan won’t be revealed by O’Dwyer until September. When asked why Australians would have to wait this long, she told the ABC this morning there would already be plenty of policies to help women across the rest of the budget papers.
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