Conclusion: Those who can afford to pay more will now pay less

This personal income tax plan is targeted at those in the higher income deciles. A staggering 62% of the income tax plan will go to high earners. This will further increase income inequality in Australia and destroy the progressive nature of our tax system.

We urge the Government to turn away from “trickledown economics”. Tax cuts for large corporations and wealthy individuals harm us all. Fewer public services, roads, bridges, nurses and teachers are just some of the costs.

It is working people and the vulnerable that have to carry the burden of handing out billions of dollars to the rich.

Since its formation in 1927, the ACTU has been the peak trade union body in Australia.  There is no other national confederation representing unions.  For 90 years, the ACTU has played the leading role in advocating in the Fair Work Commission, and its statutory predecessors, for the improvement of employment conditions of employees. It has consulted with governments in the development of almost every legislative measure concerning employment conditions and trade union regulation over that period.

The ACTU consists of affiliated unions and State and regional trades and labour councils.  There are currently 43 ACTU affiliates.  They have approximately 2 million members who are engaged across a broad spectrum of industries and occupations in the public and private sector. 

The Fair Work Amendment (Repeal of 4 Yearly Reviews and Other Measures) Bill (“the Bill”) deals with three distinct matters. We deal with them separately in this submission.  In short form our views are as follows:

  • The first (dealt with in Schedule 1 of the Bill) relates to the abolition of the requirement to conduct reviews of modern award every four years.  We support those provisions in principle, however we do not support the creation of a default requirement that all award variation matters be allocated to a Full Bench and we are concerned that the drafting of the transitional saving provision in relation to existing matters may have some unintended effects. 

The second (dealt with in Schedule 2 of the Bill) would provide for errors in the agreement making process to be forgiven in proceedings for the approval of an enterprise agreement.   We are of the view that the provisions run counter to the objective that bargaining is inclusive, fair and well informed.  We do not support the provisions.