On the 18th of September, 2013, Australia (somehow) voted in our current Liberal Government under boss man, PM Tony Abbott, and since then, I’ve often thought of the old expression, purported to be an old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times”.
Approaching 18 months in, it’s been interesting.
Particularly as Tones promptly dubbed himself the Minister for Women and seems to have consistently ignored many big issues faced by women ever since.
The gender pay gap, for example, has increased. It’s the largest pay gap since the Australian Bureau of Statistics started collecting data on it back in 1994. It’s at 18.8%. What this means is, on average, men are taking home almost $300 a week more than women. Doesn’t that give you a bit of a tightening or burning sensation in the back of your throat? The taste of acid in your mouth?
Rest assured, Tones is ALL OVER THIS. He’s listening to our concerns:
Back in 2012, the Labor government brought in laws that require companies that have 100 or more staff members to report details about the gender breakdown of their employees and wages. As of April 1, these companies were going to have to provide even more information covering job applications and interviews, parental leave and CEO wages.
(Keep reading but be aware- you may experience further symptoms of heartburn)
Basically, the Abbott government wants to scrap those further requirements. Maybe less data being collected will make that pesky pay gap less noticeable and we can all get on with the ironing?
We can’t forget what our Minister for Women actually has achieved for us so far. He doubled the number of women in his Cabinet, for starters. Yep, that’s right- we have 2 in there now. Feel represented yet?
There was that one scheme he had in mind to benefit women- the one where women would retain their full wage while on maternity leave for 26 weeks. How many people may have voted for him based on that “signature policy” promise? A fair few, I reckon. Pity he scrapped it!
And who could forget the Minister for Women’s best contribution to women in 2014- the Carbon Tax repeal? I guess he figures while we are earning so much less it’s only natural that we are in a state of anxiety over our “household budgets”, so when he said:
“Well, you know, it is very important to do the right thing by families and households. As many of us know, women are particularly focused on the household budget and the repeal of the carbon tax means a $550 a year benefit for the average family.”
What I realised was that $550 a year works out to about $10.57 a week. That’s about enough to keep me in Gaviscon. I’m not even kidding.We are probably all aware of the recent spill motion and the talk of yet another one, with even Liberal party members wanting to oust Tones as Top Dog, but even if that happens, we will still have a Liberal government for a while yet. It looks like we have until at least 2016 before we get any relief from heartburn of the political nature!
The best thing to come out of that particular zinger about the wonders of Carbon Tax repeal for women was the #ThanksTony hashtag that immediately sprung up on twitter. In fact, the best thing to come out of this government so far is the hashtags! There was #ImStickingWithTony not all that long ago, #libspill followed by the hilarious #informalvote and now #libspill2 but #ThanksTony is like a gift that keeps on giving! Here’s a few of my favourites for you to enjoy while we all wait it out:
“@BaeInTheCity: As I do my ironing, I thank stars I don’t have to worry about silly things like equal pay #ThanksTony pic.twitter.com/0KRiM3SBRP
— Suffragette Kitty (@kitty_republic) December 25, 2014
Not since Bush has politics turned the daily news into comedy hour. #ThanksTony #PutYourIronOut pic.twitter.com/52h6LYVi1h — KellyDog & EllieKat (@KaiVnm) December 22, 2014
My wish came true this Christmas, a calculator! Now I can balance the household budget. Does it iron? #thankstony pic.twitter.com/z4SHZyLbZb
— Alex Milner-Smyth (@AlexMilnerSmyth) December 25, 2014
This is the best thing I’ve seen all year. (Credit @sophiebrahams) #auspol #libspill #libspill2 pic.twitter.com/7ELbkltfjz
— Thomas (@thomasbiscuit) March 2, 2015
Perhaps the education minister was too sad to vote? #informalvote #LibSpill2015 #auspol pic.twitter.com/Au7xn9gy4K
— HandbagMafia (@handbagmafia_1) February 9, 2015
This is a sponsored post on behalf of Gaviscon, which I was happy to do because it comprised a large percentage of my diet during two pregnancies and one unfortunate bout of reflux. So if you’re suffering heartburn for whatever reason, be it pregnancy or politics, check out Gaviscon’s range!
Linking up with Essentially Jess for IBOT.