Federal Budget delivers windfall for women

Australia’s leading microfinance organisation has welcomed ground breaking funding to improve women’s financial capability and inclusion, announced in the 2018-19 Budget.

The Federal Government’s commitment includes $10 million to support women to take control of their finances (i), as part of a $50 million fund to improve the financial capability of consumers.

Good Shepherd Microfinance CEO Adam Mooney said it was pleasing to see the Turnbull Government prioritising women’s financial capability and inclusion.

“I’d like to congratulate the Minister for Women, the Hon. Kelly O’Dwyer MP, on the announcement of this new investment and the Women’s Economic Security Statement which will be delivered in Parliament in September 2018.

“Importantly, Minister O’Dwyer has acknowledged the role our national microfinance network plays in delivering life changing programs that improve women’s financial inclusion.

“We’re looking forward to being part of the development of the Women’s Economic Security Statement and to ensuring that together we can make a significant positive impact for women on low incomes,” said Mr Mooney.

Mr Mooney said that while the investment in women’s financial capability was significant, he was disappointed that the Government had not responded to urgent calls from the community sector to increase Newstart.

“We support the ACOSS campaign to ‘Raise the Rate’ of Newstart and the Youth Allowance. Many of our clients are living below the poverty line and struggling to get by on $40 per day. Newstart desperately needs to be increased by $75 per week,” said Mr Mooney.

Good Shepherd Microfinance is a national not for profit organisation focused on improving the financial wellbeing of people on low incomes, particularly women. The organisation offers the No Interest Loan Scheme (NILS) which provides access to credit for essential household items and services through 250 community organisations in 700 locations across Australia. Around 70 percent of clients are women.

“Our national microfinance network is working with thousands of women on low incomes who struggle to make ends meet. Demand for our services is growing and we’re delighted to see that more investment in financial inclusion initiatives is on its way.”

“Women are more than twice as likely as men to access a NILS loan to cover the costs of essential items like school expenses, medical bills, car repairs and household appliances. More than 40 percent of borrowers are single mums with family responsibilities,” Mr Mooney said.

Media contact: Renee Hancock on 0417 055 299 or Barbara Cox on 0403 090 913.

www.goodshepherdmicrofinance.org.au

i. https://www.pmc.gov.au/news-centre/office-women/womens-budget-2018-19-snapshot

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