ACTU accuses Morrison of refusing wage hike

PM should explain to low-income workers why they won't be seeing a hike

ACTU accuses Morrison of refusing wage hike

The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of refusing to wage hike for workers.

In its accusation, ACTU cited Morrison's "persistent argument" against real wage rises for low-paid workers. This is despite his own submission to the Annual Wage Review, where he said it is not appropriate for the Federal Government to support or oppose an increase.

"Scott Morrison is telling working people that what happens to their wages isn't up to him, but in the Fair Work Commission he's arguing furiously for real wage cuts," said ACTU Secretary Sally McManus.

ACTU said the government's submission to the Review repetitively made arguments including how a wage hike will cost jobs, and how wages must be kept low in order to create jobs for "low-skilled people, the long-term unemployed, people with disability, Indigenous Australians, and youth."

"The Prime Minister is active in this year's Annual Wage Review, and he's arguing that the wages for the lowest paid workers in the country should be kept low," said McManus.

"These workers are the cleaners, aged care workers and retail workers, along with millions of others, who carried this country through the pandemic. The Prime Minister should explain to them why he doesn't think they need a pay rise."

"Working people deserve a government that uses systems like the Annual Wage Review to lift their wages, not keep them down."

Read more: Inside ACTU's scathing report on Australian wages

In a later statement, the union pointed out Morrison is getting paid $550,000 to make him the fifth highest-paid leader worldwide.

"Scott Morrison should explain to workers that rely on the Annual Wage Review for pay rises why they don't deserve even a fraction of the wage growth he has enjoyed over the last ten years," said McManus.

"This Government is happy to watch their own wages keep climbing but won't lift a finger to help Australian workers."

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