SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER
Minister for Finance
Minister for Women
Minister for the Public Service
Date: Wednesday, 8 March 2023
JOURNALIST: Minister, is paying women super on paid parental leave something that's on the table for the upcoming May Budget?
SENATOR THE HON KATY GALLAGHER, MINISTER FOR WOMEN: Well we've made no secret that this is something we would like to do. We've got to find room for it in the Budget. It's several hundred million dollars. This is something that we've committed to in the past, and it's really about finding room in a very tight budget to find the money to do that. We know that it's a big issue for women. We know it's an inequity in the superannuation system, and we know that women retire with less than men and the average super balance in this country for women is in the order of $140,000. So we need to do more in super, but we need to find the room in the Budget as well. It's not just that, it's a whole range of other pressures.
JOURNALIST: You've got two billion dollars in savings to work with, it's a 200 million dollar measure per year, so can you find the room for it in this Budget?
GALLAGHER: Well, look we've been at, you know, the party that built superannuation, we're aware of this issue. We've committed to finding ways to fund it, you know, when we can do so in an affordable way. But we've also made clear that the changes we've made to super, and, that we announced last week were going to Budget repair, we've got a 50 billion dollar structural budget, every year, deficit, every year in this country, and when those super changes come in, they will contribute about 2 billion dollars to that Budget repair. So I think that shows you the pressure the Budget's under, but we are looking at it, and we want to do it, but we've got to do it in a way that we can afford.
JOURNALIST: There's a $136,000 gap in the retirement incomes between men and women by the time they leave the workforce. How would you describe that and is something you would personally like to see changed?
GALLAGHER: Sure, absolutely. I mean, I wish it had been done ten years ago. I wish we weren't facing this inequality now. But it's also other things like we've got to deal with wage increases for women in those feminised sectors like aged care and other care economy industries where women get traditionally lower wages and we've got to deal with the gender pay gap as well. So, it's not just super. Super is one element but driving, you know, wages up will mean that women get more super in their accounts and will retire with more so we've got to come at it from a variety of ways.
Lisa Glenday 0403 931 209 | Gallagher.Media@finance.gov.au