Government scalded over pollie pay rise as penalty rate cuts take effect

2 July 2018

Government scalded over pollie pay rise as penalty rate cuts take effect

Outrage against the Australian Government has surfaced after politicians received a pay rise on Sunday, the same day penalty rate cuts affecting over 700,000 workers across Australia came into effect.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has scalded the Government, saying that is “appalling” that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is receiving a pay rise when low-earning workers in retail and hospitality are faced with another penalty rate cut.

The cuts, which took effect on Sunday, will decrease weekend and public holiday rates for staff in the retail, hospitality and pharmacy sector by 10-15%.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the cuts would not help out small businesses as the Government claims, but would boost profits for big corporations instead.

“If working people have less money in their pockets they have less money to spend in small businesses,” Ms McManus said.

“It’s the big hospitality and retail chains that are benefiting from this. Where does that money go? It doesn’t circulate in the economy. It goes into offshore bank accounts.”

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has promised to reverse the penalty rate cuts within the first 100 days of office if Labor wins the next election.

“I want to send a message to everyone who is spending today washing dishes, or cleaning hotel rooms or stacking shelves,” he told the NSW Labor conference on Sunday. “I know you’re working today because you need the money … And we believe you should be paid fairly for your time.”

The pay rise increase for Malcolm Turnbull and his ministers is expected to reach $10,000 for each member.