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Joe Hockey Budget 2014
Photo: Andrew Meares via AFR

Advancing Women To Leadership Positions Not Policy Priority

It’s a sad day when today’s leaders believe that advancing women to leadership positions doesn’t help build the economy and therefore isn’t a policy priority.

They’re calling it the toughest budget ever delivered for decades. But really it’s piss-weak. When you consider the budget cuts impact the hardest on the young, the sick, the elderly and the poor, it’s difficult to be objective.

The Vine writer Andrew Spreet puts it bluntly:

“If you’re wealthy, the forthcoming inconvenience is annoying but largely temporary and a little way down the track. If you’re middle class, things are going to be a lot harder for you – and potentially ruinous if there’s a health or employment crisis. And if you’re poor – especially if you’re elderly, unemployed or on disability pensions – you’re in very, very deep trouble and the changes are far reaching and imminent.”

If you’re under 30 and don’t have a job, Spreet says “you’re going to be relying on mum’n’dad, or engaging in some pretty accomodating survival prostitution, because you’ve got a six month wait to get on Newstart.”

“Unless you’re under 25, that is, in which case you can’t get on Newstart all: you get the lower rate on Youth Allowance, which is a maximum of $414.40 per fortnight. Because with rents so insane in the largest cities and public housing no longer really a thing, you can totally live on $200 a week, right? Well, you’re going to learn to! ”

The Australian provides a great summary of the Federal Government’s budget measures highlighting key changes and providing expert commentary on its impact in various community and industry sectors.

Political correspondent Patricia Karvela comments on the budget’s impact on Australian families:

Joe Hockey has delivered a draconian first budget that takes the stick to welfare reliance, providing the first time-limited dole by forcing all under 30s to wait six months before receiving payments. Families will feel the most intense pain — standing to lose more than $7 billion in payments over the next four years. The budget takes a necessary axe to spending but the ramifications for families and welfare reliant Australians will be widespread and significant.

Julie Hares on education:

Deregulation is the Abbott government’s mantra and higher education was last night deregulated en masse. Universities have been set free to set their own tuition fees and to slog it out with hundreds of non-university competitors for the additional 134,000 students expected to enter the higher education free market by 2018. The problem for students is will graduates salaries and job offers keep pace. Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for.

Sean Parnell on healthcare:

Making patients pay more for basic services while at the same time cutting hospital funding undermines universal healthcare. With preventive care all but forgotten, Australians better hope the new research fund leads to some miracle — and cost effective — cures for the inevitable plague of chronic disease.

You can read the full report. 

Startup founders and business owners are told to “refocus our effort on innovation and self reliance” which sounds silly and (personally) condescending (because if Abbott and Hockey knows anything about the startup and small business community they would know that) most startups do – with very little help, if any, from the Government.

Founder of Shoestring Media Matt Beeche feels optimistic about the future of the Australian startup community despite cuts to various programs and initiatives which he says self-reliant founders don’t generally access anyway. Why? Because most don’t know they exist.

“Nobody can take away our ideas as startups, we just need to learn ways to get to where we want to without Government programs being part of the execution. I think in general, the startup sector will be okay,” Beeche writes.

Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Industry, Senator Kim Carr disagrees. He says that the Government’s austerity measures signal a shut-down in hi-tech startups, citing the loss of crucial programs such as Commercialisation Australia and Enterprise Connect in the Federal budget represent a big blow to “our burgeoning startup industries.”

There’s also bad news if you’re climbing the corporate ladder. Funding for Women’s Leadership and Development Strategy has been cut saving the Government $1.4 million over four years. The money saved from this measure will be “redirected to repair the budget and fund policy priorities.”

It’s a sad day when today’s leaders believe that advancing women to leadership positions doesn’t help build the economy and therefore isn’t a policy priority.

But we shouldn’t be surprised. When Joe Hockey spoke to a crowd of executive women and future women business leaders in early 2013, he had very little to say about the Government’s plan to advance women to senior leadership roles.


Naturally, Twitter folks went crazy wild and not in a good way.

We’ve compiled some of the best tweets by influential women on #Budget2014.

 

About Robelen Bajar

Robelen is a marketing strategist and lifestyle blogger, a sucker for sexy domains, social media butterfly, lover of sky high stilettos, ballroom latin dancer and coconut farmer. She has been in all things tech, digital and social media since 2001. Long before it was cool. She blogs at www.robelenbajar.com.

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