Published: 16/03/2022
Category: On The Job
Published: 16/03/2022
Category: On The Job

Scott Morrison is busy looking busy these days.

As the clock ticks loudly toward a federal election, the Prime Minister for photo ops is going full coverage, trying desperately to look like the man in charge.

See him here in a flood zone mopping up a basketball hall. See him there with a couple of armoured personnel carriers talking tough about defence. Look, there he is again on Instagram photo-bombing his tabby.

We’re just one step away from another ukulele atrocity, aren’t we?

In between his self-promotion engagements, the PM has been handing out more wedges than a golf caddy.

First it was on religious discrimination and singling out trans kids for discrimination for political gain. Then the focus was a quickly discredited scare campaign on China before lying about a rail shutdown in Sydney being a strike.

Morrison’s circus routine means he isn’t talking about the issues that are really hurting Australian workers: Job security, wages growth and the cost of living.

Why? Because after nine years of this Liberal Government it’s crystal clear they are simply not interested in addressing the glaring structural inequities that underpin the growing gap between the well-off and the rest of us.

And that’s where we must play our part. We need to make sure that Scott Morrison is held to account for his government’s utter failure to put the wellbeing of workers and their communities at the top of their laundry list.

Morrison is the master of deflection and it’s easy to get pulled down a side show alley when discussing the Prime Minister’s daggy dad sitcom image.

A warning however – that’s not the discussion we need to be having with our friends and neighbours.

What matters to people is not Scott Morrison’s latest Instagram post of him winning a game of Jenga in his board shorts or some other horror show that can’t be unseen.

If we want real change that is going to improve the living standards of working people, we need to talk about what’s real in their lives.

Caring for our elderly

Nearly all of us have or will have some interface with Australia’s Aged Care sector in our lifetimes. So many of us have already seen it on its knees.

The sector is suffering a workforce crisis that has led to a plummeting standard of care delivered to our most vulnerable Australians.

The need for real wage increases, secure jobs, and improved staffing ratios for aged care workers is at the core of reviving our aged care system.

Secure work for all who want it

For millions of Australians, insecure work, the gig economy and the scourge of labour hire work has left them stuck in a trap door economy, always just one economic shock from falling through into distress.

Without a permanent job it’s almost impossible to secure a bank loan, let alone buy a house. There is no sick pay or holiday pay and adequate superannuation is just a pipe dream.

It is not a platform for building a future – it’s barely enough to get through the week.

Australia has one of the highest rates of insecure work in the developed world. Nearly 60% of new jobs since the recovery from the pandemic began are casual jobs.

We have seen the fastest expansion in the number of Australians working two, three or more jobs in the history of the Australian Bureau of Statistics monitoring of the issue.

Secure Work rally at Mackay QLD in 2021

Stagnating wages as the Liberal Government intended

This is the Morrison Government’s ideal economy. Remember, this is the party whose former Finance Minister, Matthias Cormann, admitted that low wages were part of their economic plan.

And with no rise in real wages in nearly nine years, Scott Morrison and the Liberals have succeeded, and it’s workers who are paying the price.

Writing in The Guardian, Greg Jericho pointed out that since this Liberal Government took over in 2013, private-sector wages have grown only 1.4% above inflation, three percentage points less than during the Rudd and Gillard governments.

Australian workers have been paddling against a tide of rising costs – for housing, fuel, services and daily necessities – for nearly a decade.

Workers know it every time they go to the supermarket or petrol station. They also know well that after nine years of Liberal government, nothing will change for the better if Scott Morrison is re-elected.

Of course, Morrison doesn’t want to discuss such politically inconvenient subjects. He’d rather we were distracted by his social media feeds and scare campaigns.

It’s up to all of us to hold him accountable on the issues that matter to working Australians.

Because another three years of this bloke in The Lodge is something workers in Australia really can’t afford.

Scott Morrison is attempting to distract us from the issues that matter most

Scott Morrison is attempting to distract us from the issues that matter most