Treasurer has no idea about impacts of penalty rate cut on wages and jobs

01 March 2017

The Treasurer is trying to run a mile from the impacts of Fair Work Commissions decision to cut the penalty rates of 700,000 of Australias lowest paid employees on wages and job creation. The Treasurer tried to avoid responsibility for the penalty rate cut this morning on ABC AM:

SABRA LANE, PRESENTER: Where is the hard evidence that that [job creation] will happen?
MORRISON: I point you to the Fair Work Commission's decision.
LANE: But Government, where is the hard evidence...

MORRISON: It's not our decision.
LANE: It's not your decision but this is the case that you're making...
MORRISON: It's not my decision to defend Sabra. I didn't make it.
The Turnbull Governments refusal to reverse the decision and protect the penalty rates of Australian workers means the Government owns this penalty rate cut.
Later in Senate Estimates, the Treasury Secretary John Fraser was asked about Treasury modelling on the impacts of the penalty rate cut.
SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER: Do you think a decision like this would have an impact on wages growth across Australia?
FRASER: No...I dont know at this point.
GALLAGHER: Will there be more jobs created out of the Fair Work decision and how many? FRASER: I don't have an opinion on that.
The Treasurer and the Treasury cannot say how many jobs will be created or the impact of the penalty rate cut on wages. Its a disgrace.
Lets call this for what it is, its a straight cut to the wages of 700,000 of Australias lowest paid workers.