The Prime Minister has claimed that it’s not appropriate for the Federal Government to argue for or against an increase in the Annual Wage Review.

This is at odds with his own submission to this year’s Review, which makes a persistent argument against real wage rises for low-paid workers.

In Chapter 7 of the Morrison Government’s submission, entitled “The importance of low-paid work”, the Government makes the often-refuted argument that increasing wages will cost jobs, and goes on to claim that wages governed by the Review must be kept low in order to create jobs suitable for “low-skilled people, the long-term unemployed, people with disability, Indigenous Australians, and youth”.

Publicly Scott Morrison is saying that he doesn’t have any input into the Annual Wage Review, but his submission tells the Fair Work Commission very clearly that what he wants is more real wage cuts for working people.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus: 

“Scott Morrison is telling working people that what happens to their wages isn’t up to him, but in the Fair Work Commission he’s arguing furiously for real wage cuts.

“The Prime Minister is active in this year’s Annual Wage Review, and he’s arguing that the wages for the lowest paid workers in the country should be kept low.

“These workers are the cleaners, aged care workers and retail workers, along with millions of others, who carried this country through the pandemic. The Prime Minister should explain to them why he doesn’t think they need a pay rise.

“Working people deserve a Government that uses systems like the Annual Wage Review to lift their wages, not keep them down.”