Shayne Neumann MP
Federal Member for Blair

Australian Labor
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ANNUAL WAGES GROWTH HITS YET ANOTHER RECORD LOW

22/02/2017

The Turnbull Government is pushing for a cut to penalty rates at a time when we are facing the slowest wages growth since the 1990s recession.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today show that annual wage growth has fallen again to its lowest rate since the ABS first published the Wage Price Index in 1998.

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said Malcolm Turnbull has demonstrated just how out of touch he is, by calling for the Fair Work Commission to cut weekend penalty rates.

The Fair Work Commission is due to hand down its decision on whether to cut weekend penalty rates in retail, hospitality and fast-food industries on Thursday morning.

“Pay packets over this year have grown at the record-low rate of just 1.9 per cent and too many local families are feeling squeezed as a result,” Mr Neumann said.   

“Instead of tackling this ongoing problem, Malcolm Turnbull and more than 60 of his party have argued they want to abolish or cut penalty rates.

“That’s right, at this time of record low wages growth, they want a cut to people’s income. “

Under Malcolm Turnbull’s Liberals, Australians are seeing their wages flat-lining and their job security is being eroded.

In the December quarter, private sector seasonally adjusted wages grew 0.4 per cent. In the public sector, wages did little better, growing 0.6 per cent for the quarter.

Annual wages growth has now been flat or falling since June 2014, and remains 2.4 percentage points lower than the peak growth under Labor. 

“Malcolm Turnbull has no plan for our economy and no plan to grow workers’ pay packets.

“The local unemployment rate is 8.6 per cent, some three points higher than the national rate of 5.7 per cent.

“We know that while unemployment is a problem, there are many more local people who want more work but can’t find it, especially at a time when their wages are barely growing at all.

“There are fewer full time jobs now than when Malcolm Turnbull rolled Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.

“Malcolm Turnbull needs to follow Labor’s lead by putting boosting wages and growing more good jobs for Australians at the top of his to-do list.”