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Equal Pay Day – it’s not just pay packets but also super balances that are unequal

Media Release
Larissa Waters 5 Sep 2014

On Equal Pay Day today, the Australian Greens said Tony Abbott and Clive Palmer's superannuation attacks will exacerbate the financial inequality faced by women, with the gender pay gap at more than 18 per cent - a 10 year high.

"Appallingly women still earn on average 18 per cent less than men, and on top of this, they're also more likely to take time off work for unpaid caring duties, resulting in less superannuation," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens spokesperson for women, said.

"The Abbott Government is entrenching this financial inequality with attacks on superannuation and higher education that unfairly impact women and reflect this government's 1950's view of the world.

"The Abbott Government and Clive Palmer have also teamed up to make saving for retirement harder for low income earners, who are mostly women, due to the gender pay gap and part-time or casual work to fit in unpaid caring duties.

"It's generally easier for high income earners to negotiate better conditions, such as higher super, so freezing the minimum super rate for seven years will disproportionately impact women, who make up most of Australia's low income workers.

"Clive Palmer and Tony Abbott, who don't have to worry about how they'll survive in retirement, have also scrapped the low income super contribution from 2017, which will impact one in every two working Australian women and 80 per cent of women working on a part-time or casual basis.

"On top of this, women who take time off work to have children will carry one of the largest financial burdens under the Coalition's higher education plans, with Greens modelling showing a difference of 37 per cent increase of debt for women compared to men who chose to do a 3 year teaching degree.

"The Abbott Government has delayed a scheduled improvement in workplace gender equality reporting, which would have required businesses to provide additional information about how many women they interview, appoint, promote and retain, compared to men.

"This leaves us with less comprehensive data on which to base efforts to close Australia's shameful gender pay gap of more than 18 per cent.

"With only one woman in Cabinet it's not surprising that the Abbott Government is completely insensitive to hardship and inequality women face at work, at home and in retirement," Senator Waters said.

Equal Pay Day falls on September 5 this year as this is 64 days after the start of the new financial year - the amount of extra days women would have to work to equal men's pay, on average.

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