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Wage growth forecast exposes Morrison government’s smoke screen

Today’s revelations about slowing wage growth have exposed the Morrison government’s blatant attack on workers and unions to take the heat off its woeful record on wages.

Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Michael Clifford said the mid-year economic forecast (MYEFO) revealed the LNP’s obsession with one rule for workers, and another rule for business.

“As representatives of Queensland workers, we are very concerned with this federal government’s focus on an ideological agenda at the expense of workers and their families,” he said.

In this morning’s MYEFO the Government have reduced the forecast for wage growth, now claiming that it will not reach 3 per cent until 2022/23, revising their previous forecasts down 0.75 per cent for the years 2020/21 and 2021/22.

“The federal LNP in government has now wrongly predicted wage growth 33 times in a row,” Mr Clifford said.

“Do they even care?

“The Morrison Government has no clue or plan to increase wage growth, in fact Ministers have previously claimed that the current seven year stretch of record-low wage growth is a desirable outcome of their economic plan.

“Last week we learnt that corporations that turn over billions of dollars in Australia are not paying company tax here, putting the budget load squarely on the shoulders of workers,” said Mr Clifford.

“At the same time the Morrison government is trying to introduce extreme union-busting legislation which would shut down entire unions for submitting paperwork late and make it harder to win pay rises.

“Ironically the Morrison government’s failure to pursue policies to encourage wage growth has meant that its holy grail of a budget surplus is disappearing because there’s reduced tax take from workers.

“They’ve got themselves into a knot and its workers and the economy that are being strangled,” said Mr Clifford.

Huge multinational corporations like Shell, IBM and Goldman Sachs pay no tax in Australia, despite hundreds of millions, sometimes billions of dollars in income, according to data released by the Australian Tax Office last week.

Some of these companies are paying no tax while they are also setting up wholly owned subsidiary labour hire companies to outsource their staff and undercut wages, said Mr Clifford.

He warned the Morrison government that Queensland crossbench Senators had rejected the federal Coalition’s last attempt to favour big business over the interests of working people.

“There’s a groundswell against the government’s ideological attack on unions. All workers want is fair treatment so they are free to organise and fight for wage increases,” he said.