Campaign comes alive as PM stakes his reelection bid on cutting wages

Voters could be shocked, amazed even, however the day’s campaigning was dedicated to an actual subject of large relevance the place there’s a real gulf between Labor and the Coalition.

On the one hand, Anthony Albanese helps pay rises for low-paid staff of 5.1%, to make sure they don’t go backwards in actual phrases. On the opposite, Scott Morrison thinks staff’ actual wages being maintained is “economic vandalism” and Albanese’s assist exhibits he’s a “loose unit” on the financial system.

Higher wages have been “like throwing fuel on the fire of rising interest rates and rising cost of living”, the prime minister says.

Much of the media seems to agree with Morrison’s “we must cut low-paid workers’ real wages” place, so Albanese’s assist has prompted a lot pearl-clutching and hyper-ventilation by the media.

Albanese was desirous to embrace the difficulty this morning, and had his assault strains prepared within the face of hostile questioning from journalists:

What Scott Morrison says is that it’s OK to seek out $30 million for a block of land that’s value $3 million. It is OK his authorities can all the time discover cash for sports activities rorts, for commuter automobile park rorts, for all of this exercise … he’s OK to waste these billions of {dollars}. A billion {dollars} actually on promoting of the federal government itself. But backing a $1-an-hour pay improve isn’t OK. Workers who’re paid $20.33 an hour to be paid $1 additional. That is what this debate is about.

(There’s an implicit problem in that reality: can anybody title a low-paid employee who can be overpaid at $21.33 an hour? That’s $41,000 a 12 months. How many politicians, commentators and journalists may stay on $41,000 a 12 months — or would they should work a number of jobs like so many low-paid staff need to?)

Challenged on whether or not he thought a wage rise for the low-paid was a nasty concept, Morrison professed it wasn’t his job even to supply an opinion. Some quotes from his media convention as we speak.

The Fair Work Commission is the suitable physique to take a look at all the financial implications for the place they set the minimal wage. If we needed politicians to make this up, that’s what we might have completed …

… not respecting the method of an impartial setting of minimal wage circumstances on this nation …

… what’s calmly decided, sensibly, by the impartial course of that appears in any respect of those elements…

But Albanese’s opinion, apparently, would result in inflation and financial chaos.

At the identical time, Morrison was arguing that wages have been rising as a result of “businesses are growing and becoming stronger. That is where pay rises come from.”

Confused about each the position of politicians, the Fair Work Commission and enterprise in wage-fixing? You ought to be.

There’s at the very least a component of consistency in Morrison right here and, for as soon as, some laudable honesty in coverage. The Coalition has actively engaged in wage suppression within the pursuits of enterprise over the previous decade, utilizing a number of methods: refusing to assist minimal wage rises and chopping penalty charges; growing short-term migration to push wages down; putting caps on public sector pay; demonising unions; and refusing to fund pay rises in service sectors run by non-public enterprise however funded by authorities (like aged care — the place Morrison is refusing to decide to funding the wage rise at present into account by the Fair Work Commission in its work worth case for aged care staff).

In that context, specific assist for actual wage cuts continues the Coalition’s coverage over the earlier three phrases in workplace. It’s saying the quiet half out loud: the Coalition helps companies’ relentless opposition to wage rises for staff, which have vanished in actual wage phrases since 2013.

It will go down effectively with The Australian Financial Review, after all. But whether or not it performs effectively in these essential outer suburban and main regional seats that Morrison — primarily as a result of he can’t go wherever else — has been focusing on, effectively, that’s a special matter.

In different information, Barnaby Joyce took a break from pork-barrelling to go to the National Press Club. The problem of stringing greater than a handful of phrases collectively in comparatively coherent trend at one stage overcame the deputy prime minister, who suffered a nosebleed from the trouble. Highlights — utilizing the time period loosely — included Joyce calling for a home transport trade (one thing urged by Labor, whereas a number of Coalition governments have — fairly rightly — labored to kill it because the protectionist nonsense it’s), calling Labor’s Help to Buy coverage “Fidel Castro politics” (persevering with his Cuba obsession, after branding the Solomon Islands the Pacific equal two weeks in the past), and his argument that the remainder of the world was backing away from their local weather commitments.

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