Back in the middle of last month, I made the following prediction for the next twelve months;
“I wouldn’t be surprised if Maurice Newman and the Business Council chime ever louder the “findings” that the main problem in doing business in Australia is average wages.
“This will all be in the lead up to the Senate reshuffle after which will make life a lot simpler for the current government to make whatever changes they want.
“The hope will be that the Australian public is suitably primed for the “revelation” that we need to lower minimum wages or provide more power to employers or something similar and the government must act to save Australia’s prosperity…”
Today we have another individual brought in by this government, Federal Employment Minister Eric Abetz, weighing into the conversation. In his words,
“we risk seeing something akin to the wages explosion of the pre-accord era when unsustainable wage growth.”
“Employers and unions must be encouraged to take responsibility for the cost of their deals; not just the cost to the affected enterprises but the overall cost in relation to our economy efficiency and the creation of opportunities for others.”
It is starting to sound as though my prediction might hold some merit. And here I am, an amateur political commentator enthusiast (because, after all, what these people do on my behalf directly affects me and my family and friends).
The Australia Institute looked into Abetz’s concern of a potential wage explosion as well and found the following.
Startling, I know.
Of course, there was no talk of the negotiated wages at the top end, that can be, as in the case of the CEO of Myer, 75 times as much as that of an employee on the shop floor.
No, the waste is the students, the mums and dads; the wage earners doing the actual work and, collectively contribute a massive purchasing potential, provided they have adequate wages to do more than struggle to make ends meet.
In the lead up to this previous election, this hopeful government assured Australian workers that they wanted to lighten the financial burdens placed on families, with the focus removing the carbon tax. Since they have come to power, they have worked to ensure each one of us has to pay any time we see a doctor, they have started to look at the GST – both moves that disproportionately affect poorer Australians than richer.
Likewise, the dialogue under the former government stressed the shortcomings of current government entitlements such as the pension, where this government thinks they are paying too much.
Minimum wage and worker rights are surely on the table as well. That the top end don’t get a mention is direct evidence that yes, yet again poorer Australians are being attacked.
The voting public were duped. Is this the beginning of WorkChoices v2? Time will tell