Will we have an equitable post – Covid-19 future? Because we certainly didn’t have an equitable pre-Covid past.
And this was heavily acknowledged by Grant Robertson in his pre-Budget address. His concerns of child poverty, expensive housing, people working hard and not getting ahead, rising emissions and dirty waterways are also the concerns of the CTU.
We have been concerned for some time about the inequality inherent in our economy demonstrated by low wages, low productivity, high rents, and high emissions.
All alongside a severely under-funded health system and run-down public services.
This is particularly important as all the updated Treasury scenarios show unemployment peaking at 9.8%. Based on the December 19 figures this means 275,000 people without any paid work, 225,000 people who want more paid work and 200,000 people who want paid work but are discouraged or have other obligations.
These numbers are also not gender neutral.
Unemployment and underutilisation pre -Covid-19 were structurally higher for women than men – 132,000 men were underutilised compared to 167,000 women in December 19. So that gap of 35,000 could now increase to almost 90,0000 more women ‘underutilised’ if all the other indicators followed in the same way as the unemployment possibilities.
Covid-19 has also shown the key role women play in the essential economy with over two thirds of its workers – often in minimum wage roles – being women.
Download the full Budget special: CTU Report on Budget 2020.