What will decide the votes of young women at the election? Much more than tax cuts

What will decide the votes of young women at the election? More than tax cuts

young people

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made a pitch to young voters on Monday morning, telling Nine papers that young people have benefited most from tax cuts made by the federal government.

With the next federal election looming and all sides of politics ramping up their campaigns, the Coalition government is desperate to clinch the votes of young people and is claiming workers aged 25 to 34 have had a good deal over the past three years when it comes to the amount of tax they’ve paid.

“Australians aged between 25 and 34 are on average more than $3400 better off due to the government’s tax cuts,” Frydenberg told Nine papers.

This pitch comes in the midst of the Omicron wave that has seen many young Australians spend the holiday period in isolation or away from their loved ones, without easy or affordable access to rapid antigen tests. Supermarkets have been in short supply due to worker shortages, and many people have been unable to work safely due to the threat of Covid.

It’s also notable that during 2020’s recession, women, especially those aged 15-24, were overrepresented in the hardest hit industries and experienced the most job losses.

While there’s no doubt young people are concerned about their personal finances, especially through such a tumultuous period, there are a myriad of other issues that are concerning young Australians.

Below, Women’s Agenda asked a handful of young women what issues they were most concerned about ahead of the next election, and some of the things that will help them decide who to vote for.

Gemma Moran, 22

“We need leaders who recognise the importance of an immediate transition to renewable energy, who can steer our country away from fossil fuels and meet a net zero target by 2030.

“We need leaders who understand the gender inequalities faced today and take action, including closing the gender pay gap and superannuation gap.”

Katharine Maria Ho, 25

“I need to know someone in parliament actually cares about science. And I don’t mean just for another impending pandemic. I mean for climate change, resources and funding for research and for resources informing the public and for schools.

“I also want to see more proactivity in addressing a treaty between Indigenous people and the government. We’re the only Commonwealth without one.

“I want to see proactivity in supporting healthcare workers, teachers, and support staff. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that the current government cares more about benefiting themselves, than the country and our people as a whole.”

Jessie Tu, 34

“I’ll be paying attention to the climate change policies, looking at how each party has historically behaved when it comes to these issues”.

“I’ll be looking out for policies that aim to improve the lives of single parent households, healthcare, government provisions that mean those outside the conservative heterosexual family are not excluded from accessing services, housing and support.”

Sally Lewis, 28

“What happened at the Cop26 summit was embarrassing and I don’t think reflected the feelings of most Australians. Our government needs to invest more money into sustainable infrastructure and create jobs in the environmental sector. If the bush fires taught us anything, it was that we are running out of time and need to act now.

“We need greater representation of women and People of Colour in politics. This is an issue lots of countries have and we need to lead by example. I want to see myself reflected in our leaders- as well as fresh perspectives on issues that have been talked about by politicians since I was born (and way before)- female empowerment, the environment, economic reform. Surely it’s time for a new voice and some new ideas.

“Negative gearing makes buying property extremely difficult for young people. Negative gearing favors investors and reduces their taxes. As a young person with a steady job, I will have to save for years longer than past generations to secure a property. 

“Australia’s current approach towards individuals who seek asylum in Australia is brutal, barbaric and inhumane. Locking people away in detention centres and separating them from their families after fleeing traumatic situations in their home countries is nothing short of abusive. Individuals who seek asylum in Australia suffer long term mental health issues and lose years of their lives in detention. This policy is xenophobic, archaic and embarrassing.”

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