The Wage Price index (WPI) has slowed to 2.1 per cent according to new data released by the ABS this morning.

The COVID-19 crisis has meant reduced hours, pay cuts and job losses for millions of Australians, but despite this the Morrison Government is refusing to expand the JobKeeper scheme to cover universities, the arts, casuals and migrant visa workers.

Having only distributed $25 million of the $230 billion they announced, Scott Morrison’s government clearly has the scope to provide financial support for those workers who have been left behind to deal with the dire economic consequences caused by the pandemic.It should do so immediately.

This crisis has clearly demonstrated the need for expanded rights for working people, especially a reduction in the rate of insecure work, so that all working people have basic protections in their workplace.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“Slowing wage growth is just the beginning, we know this crisis has severely impacted the lives and livelihoods of millions of working people.

“The Government must expand JobKeeper to cover as many workers as possible, the Treasurer has the power to do this immediately.

“The recovery from this crisis must face up to the fact that insecure work in this country is too common and needs to be reduced. We cannot return to business as usual, with 40 per cent of the workforce in non-standard forms of work.

“The Government still has time to protect working people who have been excluded from JobKeeper, but it needs to act now.”