Labor will also be campaigning in Eden-Monaro on penalty rate cuts and the Fair Work Commission’s decision to make workers in the hardest-hit industries wait until 1 February for a pay rise.
Labor’s Tony Burke will cite a new analysis from the Parliamentary Library that pharmacy workers could be up to $4,800 worse off a year and retail workers up to $4,300 worse off a year compared due to cuts that were made by the FWC in February 2017.
The analysis finds the cost of delaying the $13-a-week minimum wage rise until February is at least $400 for these workers.
Before the 2019 election Labor committed to reverse penalty rate cuts. It has not recommitted to that policy (yet) – but it is written into Labor’s platform.
I’m not sure there is any proposal to fix delayed minimum wage rises, which was done because certain industries (accommodation, food services, arts, recreation, aviation, retail and tourism) will be suffering a big reduction in trade due to Covid-19 and associated restrictions.
Scott Morrison is leaving these workers behind. These are many of the same people who kept working through the height of the Covid-19 pandemic to ensure Australians could continue to get the things they needed. They proved themselves to be essential, frontline workers in a time of crisis – and this is how we thank them?
We know this will hurt women and young people the most because they dominate the retail sector. These cuts never made sense but they make even less sense in a recession. This is not the time for cuts and austerity.”
Anthony Albanese will be in Eden-Monaro with Labor’s candidate Kristy McBain today announcing that Labor plans to reverse $83.7m of cuts to the ABC “to save regional jobs, protect critical emergency broadcasting and support local news and content”.
We knew Labor wasn’t a fan of the cuts – but a commitment that an “Albanese Labor government will” reverse them (if elected) adds pressure to the government.
The Nationals candidate Trevor Hicks has also pledged to fight to reverse the cuts, so only Liberal candidate Fiona Kotvojs is left holding the government line.
In a statement, Albanese and McBain said:
ABC emergency coverage saved lives during the summer bushfires and staff came off leave to ensure Australians were kept informed. Now 250 dedicated ABC staff face the sack as a result of Scott Morrison’s cuts …This Saturday the people of Eden-Monaro have the chance to send the government a message: don’t cut ABC jobs, regional news or emergency broadcasting.”