Morrison budget fails test on wages, fairness

Morrison budget fails test on wages, fairness

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pre-election sales pitch has failed to deliver fair pay rises or a fair go for working people.

The six-year trickle-down fantasy continued with Josh Frydenberg promising 3.5 percent pay rises by 2021-22, without detailing any plan to deliver them.

If working people had actually received the pay rises the coalition has been promising since 2013 we’d be on average $4000 richer, the Centre for Future Work found this week.  

Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have maintained their plan to undermine progressive taxation, with their tax plan putting people on $200,000 a year in the same tax bracket as those earning $45,000 from 2024.

The budget also maintaining loopholes that multinationals and the very wealthy use to avoid paying their fair share of tax – or in some cases any tax at all.

The Coalition tax plan is projected to cost $158 billion over a decade – enough to fund the operation of the federal entire health system for two years, or enough to restore their cuts to public education more than ten times over.

The infrastructure-heavy budget fails to ensure planned projects create good, secure local jobs, or source goods and services from local businesses.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“This budget fails the fairness test. It’s a cynical attempt to buy votes, but Morrison and Frydenberg are giving with one hand and taking away with the other.

“Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have used temporarily higher commodity prices and company tax receipts to take more than $150 billion out of the money we need for our schools, TAFE, hospitals, universities and infrastructure over the next decade.”

“This budget fails to crack down on the one third of big businesses who paid no tax last year, or the 69 rich people who make more than a million dollars a year and don’t even pay the Medicare levy.

“This government’s wage forecasts are a fantasy. Morrison and his government have produced 21 inaccurate wage growth projections in previous budgets and economic statements. Not once have they delivered the promised pay rises.

“They have deliberately kept pay low, cutting penalty rates, capping public service wages and encouraging employers in a race to the bottom.

“When working people get fair pay rises our living standards grow year after year, but tax cuts come at the expense of quality services.”

“Everyone who wants fair pay, secure jobs and better lives for working people in our country knows we need to change the government and change the rules.”

Media contact: Lachlan Williams (ACTU) 0447 682 027 lwilliams@actu.org.au; ACTU Media: 03 9664 7315