Thursday, 8 October 2020
Questions without Notice
Women's Economic Security
I thank Senator McCarthy for her question. What I can confirm, Senator McCarthy, is that when the pandemic first hit we did see that women were disproportionately impacted by the pandemic when it came to job losses. What I can also tell Senator McCarthy is that prior to the pandemic we did have a disproportionate number of older Australians and also older women who were represented on social security payments.
This was probably a result of many things, including many measures that had been put in place prior to the pandemic and many measures that have been put in place over a number of years, not the least of which was the increase in the number of young people who were coming off unemployment and going into work. It could also be the fact that we had changes to our pension arrangements, like the wife pension, and these changes had taken place over quite a long period of time and under successive governments. As a result of the fact that we had started to see probably a disproportionate number of older Australians on unemployment benefits or on welfare, the government has taken a number of initiatives to support older people who find themselves unemployed.