Years of record-low wage growth, a national crisis of insecure work and the expanding revelations of collusion between his own government and big business were absent from Scott Morrison’s list of threats to Australians delivered at the National Press Club today.
The Prime Minister instead used the speech to signal the start of a campaign of fear and divisive, far-right politics.
The $78 million promised for family and domestic violence services does not come close to replace the $300 million cut by his own government or the damage done by its privatisation of services, and pales in comparison to the $200 million promised by the Andrews Government in Victoria alone.
The Prime Minster avoided the topic of work entirely in his speech and avoided the people affected by his government’s inaction on insecure work – entering the Press Club via the back entrance to avoid Australian Seafarers who have been sacked on his watch who are calling on support from the Australian Government for Australians jobs in shipping.
The Morrison Government continuing to ignore the twin crises of low wage growth and insecure work is the biggest issue currently facing Australian workers.
The eagerness of this Government to bow to the interests of big business and the big banks at the expense of working people is creating a class of working poor in Australia and a generation of workers who are growing up with no prospect of secure employment.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“The Prime Minister talked a lot about his values, but the working people of Australia know that his values always align with big business over workers.
“We don’t need a campaign that tries to stoke fear to win votes. We need a government which is committed to fixing the broken system and giving power back to working people.
“We need to put power back in the hands of working people so that they can fight for wage rises. The Morrison Government has instead handed billions to its big business mates and told working people to wait their turn.
“We need a Government with a plan for secure jobs. That will deliver change to ensure that good, secure jobs don’t become a thing of the past. Instead this government has watched on as a huge portion of the population are forced into insecure work.
“The money promised on family and domestic violence prevention is pitiful and doesn’t replace the huge cuts made by this government or reverse the damage done through privatisation of these critically important services.
“The legacy of this government will be of record low wage growth and systemic insecure work. This Government has been and continues to be a disaster for working people.”