Published: 28/03/2022
Category: On The Job
Published: 28/03/2022
Category: On The Job

Can you hear that noise? 

That rumble is the sound of the tsunami of spin and the avalanche of cash bribes the Morrison government is preparing to unleash as it gets ready for Budget night 2022. 

This will be the last budget before Scott Morrison faces a federal election – one that may well be a reckoning for him and his shambolic, cynical, and self-serving government. 

As Australian workers and their families struggle with the challenge of meeting their basic needs – like filling up their petrol tank or paying for their groceries – they’re rightfully thinking that Scott Morrison and his government have abandoned them. 

Hundreds of thousands of working Australians are wondering how they’re going backwards as they work harder than ever. 

So, what’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg plan to address this? 

If the delivery of one-off cash grants to working families and pensioners is the answer, then it is simply more of the same from this government. 

Any financial relief from cost-of-living pressures is welcome, but let’s be clear, it is not a strategy for a strong future.  

This is just a budget bribe designed to get this troubled government through another news cycle in the hope of winning an election. 

Australian workers don’t need a pay out, they need a pay rise, something that this government has steadfastly refused to make happen over the last nine years. 

Research from The McKell Institute underlines the neglect of workers’ wages that has characterised this government. 

The McKell Institute estimates that if the wage growth achieved under Labor between 2007 and 2013 had been sustained through 2014 to 2021, average Australian earnings would be $16,000 higher than they are today. 

They find private sector wage growth during Labor’s six years in office was 4.2% above inflation.  

So, what we see represents nearly three times more wage growth between 2007 and 2013 than we’ve seen under the following Coalition Governments, and in two-thirds the time. 

It’s a damning set of numbers that show the Liberal Party and its allies have been true to their creed: low wages are a design feature of their economic plan. 

The plan to cut fuel excise to reduce the cost of petrol will assist in providing immediate relief to workers. 

But the cut is only temporary. When it goes, workers will be back to choosing between a full tank or staple groceries.  

What we need is a long-term strategy to ensure workers earn a decent wage so they will be able to pay for their petrol and buy the basic things they need for their families for the future.  

Ultimately, without wage growth and secure work, this government has left workers to constantly make grueling choices.  

  • You can have a house or superannuation but you can’t have both. 
  • You can fill your car with petrol or you can buy your groceries but you won’t be able to do both. 
  • You can have a job but no entitlements like sick pay, holiday pay and penalty rates. 
  • You can work in a front-line job keeping this community safe but you can’t expect to be paid properly. 

When it comes to pay rises, Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have only provided more empty thought bubbles for working Australians and their families.  

That is most clearly demonstrated by the work value case brought by aged care workers and their unions that is currently being heard before the Fair Work Commission. 

Union, providers and other stakeholders have supported a 25% wage increase for these vital workers who have shouldered the heaviest burden imaginable in our beleaguered aged care system throughout the pandemic. 

They’re highly skilled, resilient and dedicated workers who provide care for our most vulnerable but are amongst the poorest paid workers in the country. 

It should be a no brainer that any government committed to dealing with the crisis in aged care would deal with its fundamental problem – its workforce crisis. 

So where are Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg? 

They simply refused to write to the Commission to support the aged care worker’s case. 

So as they brag at Budget time, with promises of a cash splash here and hand outs there, keep this in mind.  

If the Morrison Government refuses to support the workers who have carried us through this pandemic, then we can’t expect much better for any other workers.

Don’t buy Morrison’s budget bribes

Don’t buy Morrison’s budget bribes