While big business may recognise the need for tough action and strict budgets to provide a more secure future for all Australians, the message isn’t resonating with women, with a quarter of them saying they would change their vote at last year’s federal election had they known what the Coalition had planned for this year’s Federal Budget.
According to research conducted by The Heat Group, Australia’s largest marketer to women, only 13% of women surveyed said they feel positively about the Federal Budget. Almost half (48%) said this budget, with drastic cuts to a number of areas, has changed their perception of Australian politics.
“Aussie women don’t feel the government has their best interests at heart based on this budget,” says Gillian Franklin, Managing Director of The Heat Group. “Approval ratings have plummeted since the announcement of this budget and 70% of Australian women believe this budget will negatively impact their standard of living.”
The Heat Group survey found that if this budget is implemented, 63% of women believe it will have a negative impact on their current financial situation and on their ability to save for the future.
“The high rate of disapproval and concern stemming from Australian women calls for the Government to sit up and take note,” said Ms Franklin. “Australian women simply can’t afford the cost of this budget.”
In the lead up to the 2013 Federal Election, The Heat Group asked women what they wanted most from the Australian Government. 61% said they wanted further investment in the healthcare system, and 36% believed more funding in education would make Australia a better place.
Today, women are saying their top concerns are cuts to the healthcare system (71%), the GP co-payment (51%) and cuts to higher education (50%) – leading Ms Franklin to conclude that “the wishes of Australian women have been completely disregarded” by the Coalition.
In addition to the cuts proposed in the Federal Budget, the Coalition has repealed the Low Income Super Contribution (LISC) introduced by the Gillard Government in 2012/13 Federal Budget to help low income earners save for their retirement. By axing the annual $500 superannuation payment for workers earning less than $37,000 the Coalition has made it that much harder for 3.6 million Australians – many of whom are women jugging part-time work with family responsibilities – to save for their retirement.