Unions NSW Secretary Mark Morey said:
“The NSW Treasurer’s stubborn insistence on suppressing the wages of nurses, paramedics, teachers, cleaners, contact tracers and other public sector workers will weaken economic demand and slow the economic recovery.
“The Treasurer’s own Budget papers spell out the lunacy of his approach. Household consumption fell 14.8 per cent from January to July of this year. Yet the Treasurer is cutting the wages of 400,000 of his own employees. These are people on a median wage of $89,000 who would have spent any increase in regional and suburban communities.
“While the Commonwealth tries to put money in the pocket of workers through tax cuts, Dominic Perrottet is picking their pocket with wage cuts before it can be spent.
“This is why the Budget papers forecast a sluggish return to jobs growth. Under the current misguided approach, it will be almost four years until pre-crisis employment levels return. Public and private wages will remain stagnant over the next four years.
“This sluggish jobs growth is a deliberate choice. In such a deep crisis public sector jobs should both be expanded and paid more. Previous crises have shown that. Dominic Perrottet is holding the State back through a misguided mix of ideology and loyalty to big business.
“The budget papers state that ‘the public sector was the only segment of the NSW economy to see positive growth, contributing 1.8 percentage points to SFD (state final demand) growth through the year to June 2020’
“However the papers also warn that this same source of public sector demand will decline over the next two years. This is the first time this has happened in at least three decades.
“Why is the Treasurer kicking the legs out from under the public sector at precisely the time we need it the most? Leaving people in the dole queue for years on end will scar them, their families and their communities.”
Mark Morey 0425 231 812