Greens spokesperson for Finance Senator Barbara Pocock is disappointed by Labor’s delayed attempts to improve support and lower cost of living for parents and carers. Senator Pocock is calling on the Government to go further and faster on care sector wages, paid parental leave and free childcare.
Despite recent Greens/Labor agreed recommendations in the interim report for the Select Committee on Work and Care, Labor has failed to give timely relief on issues of work and care.
The Greens/ Labor majority interim report recommended increasing paid parental leave to 26 weeks as soon as possible, whereas the budget means that parents will be waiting until 2026 before they receive the full amount of this leave.
Care workers across the care economy are leaving their jobs for higher wages and better conditions. While the Government has committed to fund aged care pay rises, there is nothing promised for other care sectors like disability and childcare.
Lines attributable to Greens spokesperson for Finance, Senator Barbara Pocock
“Extending Paid Parental leave to 26 weeks is a start but by the time it's implemented, Australia will have fallen even further behind the international standard which is now 52 weeks.
“I welcome the boost for the aged care workforce. However we need similar measures for child and disability care workers.
“All care workers need a pay rise. Boosting wages for aged care workers and not child or disability carers will result in a workforce shortfall as carers leave in droves to pursue better pay.
“Workers in highly feminised workforces like care work, hospitality and retail will continue to be overworked and face real wage falls under this Labor budget.
“Budgets are about choice. This budget gives $254B in stage three tax cuts to billionaires and the very wealthy – including politicians – while millions of people are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of housing, food and electricity. We could have funded the international standard of paid parental leave, free childcare and fixed the housing crisis. It’s a lost opportunity.