The announcement that Macquarie Bank Chief Executive Officer Allan Moss will personally pocket $33.5 million this year — including a $12 million pay rise — is a clear indication of the huge gap between the rich and poor in Australia says the ACTU.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:

“Working families are struggling with the downward pressure on their wages caused by the Howard Government’s unfair IR laws along with increased housing costs, higher petrol prices and other inflationary pressures while Australia’s banks and big business executives have never had it so good.

“Mr Moss may have been doing a good job but $33 million is an outrageous salary and bonus package while the average working person will be lucky to earn $50,000 per year.

“There are working families struggling under John Howard’s unfair IR laws while big business is raking in profits like never before because of the very same laws.

“Under Mr Howard’s watch the rich have become richer and the poor are getting more numerous. The ethos of the fair go for all is completely off the map under this government.

“There is no doubt that these IR laws make it easier for employers to cut workers’ take home pay, erode their job conditions and take away workers’ job security.

“All the power has gone to big business while workers in businesses with less than 100 workers have no access to unfair dismissal and workers in bigger business have to wonder when the boss will bring out the ‘operational reasons’ clause used most recently in the case of Priceline worker Andrew Cruikshank.

“It is time Australia’s big business and bank sectors did more for the Australian community rather than continue to pay executives exorbitant and unjustified bonuses”, said Ms Burrow