No plan to lift wages growth as forecasts down again

03 April 2019

With the Hon Brendan O'Connor MP

After six years of cuts and chaos, and six weeks before an election, the Budget confirms what Labor has been saying - that the economy is not working for everyday Australians.
The Morrison Government’s election con does nothing to address serious problems with stagnant wages and insecure work.
Wages growth forecasts have been downgraded again from 3 per cent to 2.75 per cent in 2019-20, and from 3.5 per cent to 3.25 per cent in 2020-21.
Everything is going up in Australia except for wages. Cost of living is up, power bills and health insurance bills are sky-rocketing, and families are suffering from Liberals’ cuts to schools and hospitals, and the don’t have a plan to address stagnant wages growth.
Under the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government, company profits are growing five times faster than wages and the Liberals response is to vote 8 times to cut penalty rates.
This is a government which believes that keeping wages low is a “deliberate design feature” of their economic plan.  
The reheated Tony Abbott stunt of creating 1.25 million jobs over five years essentially amounts to jobs growth which is simply keeping pace with population growth. It is hollow without policies to address the underlying structural problems of insecure work, underemployment and stagnant wages.   
The Australian labour market faces persistent problems of underemployment and growing insecure work. There around 1.1 million underemployed Australians looking for more work, but unable to find it.

Australians deserve a pay rise – and they aren’t getting one under Scott Morrison and his Liberals.
Bill Shorten and Labor will deliver a fair go for Australia by standing up for workers. We will reverse cuts to penalty rates, crack down on the abuse of labour hire, make sure the minimum wage is a living wage, take steps to close the gender pay gap, and crack down on sham contracting, wage theft and worker exploitation.