On the day that politicians are receiving a two percent pay increase, equating to $11,000 per year for Scott Morrison, the penalty rate cuts which he voted for eight times are taking even more money out of the pockets of low-paid workers.
Penalty rates for workers in fast food, hospitality, retail and pharmacy will be cut again from this weekend, meaning more hardship for workers who, like all Australians not sitting in parliament, haven’t seen a real pay rise in six years.
Over the last decade politicians’ pay has increased 5 per cent per year on average, almost double the Wage Price Index over that time which stands at 2.8 per cent.
The Morrison Government has always denied there is an issue with wages growth or insecure work in this country, despite warnings from the Reserve Bank and leading economists that a record-breaking stretch of near-record low wage growth is slowing growth across the economy.
Last year the Council of Small Business admitted that the penalty rate cuts – which it promised would create jobs – have failed to create a single job anywhere in Australia.
As stated by ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“Working people need pay rises now. But today, the Morrison Government is enjoying their own pay rises while failing to stop pay cuts wages for low paid workers.
“This Government has no plan to end the wage growth crisis and no plan to end insecure work. Their priority when they return to parliament is continued attacks on workers and their unions. Attacks on workers’ rights will only deepen this crisis.
“The penalty rate cuts have not created jobs because they were never intended to. This has been a cynical move by the business lobby to strip pay from vulnerable working people and take it as profit.
“Working people are cutting back on spending, which is causing our economy to break down as local businesses rely working people spending.
“Now is the time to join your union and stand up against the Morrison Government’s attacks on the basic rights, wages and conditions of working people.”