Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday scored an $11,000 pay rise while some of Queensland’s lowest paid workers copped a further cut to their yearly income.
That’s the ongoing impact of the LNP government’s support for cuts to penalty rates for hospitality, fast food, retail and pharmacy workers.
Queensland Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan said LNP claims that penalty rates cuts would create extra jobs had also been proven false.
The leader of Australia’s small business council Peter Strong recently said the cuts had “not created one new job or prompted business to give any extra hours to workers”.
Ms McLennan said this was a double whammy on workers: the third year of cuts to their wages and another broken promise from the LNP.
Federal MPs have been granted a two per cent pay rise from 1 July, just as 700,000 retail, fast food, hospitality and pharmacy workers are set to have their penalty rates cut by between 10 and 15 per cent, with many to lose more than $2,000 a year for their work on Sundays and public holidays.
“It’s a bitter pill to swallow for these workers who will earn less this year while Prime Minister Scott Morrison will score around $11,000 a year on top of his current $538,460, with his pay rise waved through by government,” said Ms McLennan.
“With a raft of show public holidays coming up throughout Queensland, including the Exhibition Holiday in Brisbane on 14 August, the impact of these cuts will keep rippling through our local economies.
“Around 180,000 award reliant Queensland workers who already doing it tough are going to struggle through the reduction in their income brought about cuts to penalty rates.
“That little money that currently goes to the discretionary spending of those workers must now be redirected to the more immediate priorities of food and shelter.
“It’s a pay cut these workers can’t afford and don’t deserve,” she said.
“Based on a conservative estimate of workers losing in the order of $50 per week, this means almost half a billion dollars less being spent in the Queensland community every year because of this decision, which the LNP backed in full,” she said.
“Currently we have an unfair system that allows massive pay cuts to low paid workers set against record profits for business, a growing GDP, increased labour productivity and multi-million dollar salaries to CEOs is a broken system.
“Working people are going backwards and the LNP is out of touch with those doing it tough,” she said.