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Women significant victims of cuts: Macklin

Canberra Times logo Canberra Times 23/05/2014 Judith Ireland
Jenny Macklin. Jenny Macklin.

Women will be disproportionately hit by the federal budget's changes to pensions and GP visits, according to Labor Party analysis.

Labor payments spokeswoman Jenny Macklin said because women made up nearly 55 per cent of all age pensioners and 70 per cent of single age pensioners, they would be ''significantly disadvantaged'' by the Coalition government's decision to reduce the rate at which the pension is indexed.

Ms Macklin also singled out the the government's decision to cut the pensioner education supplement, which helps some welfare recipients with the costs of ongoing study and will now save the budget $281.2 million. Women make up 76 per cent of recipients, she said.

''Each year, Tony Abbott is denying more than 31,000 women pensioners support to study.''

Ms Macklin added that women would also be unequally hit by the $7 GP co-payment, arguing that last year, 60 per cent of GP visits were by women. Labor's criticism was echoed by Greens spokeswoman for women Larissa Waters, who said the co-payment and cuts to the National Rental Affordability Scheme would make it more difficult for victims of domestic violence to go to a doctor or find alternative accommodation.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women Michaelia Cash said the government was ''committed to providing women with economic independence and stability''.

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