The Federal Government’s 2021 budget decisions will not improve the central issues facing working Australians - insecure work and low wage growth. Wage growth is forecast at negative or flat, locking in declining living standards for years leaving workers with no real pay rise for the whole time this Government has been in power. The women’s budget measures are small, delayed and piecemeal, and will do very little to improve the working lives of Australian women.
The ACTU has urged the Senate crossbench to reject the Federal Government's Superannuation legislation in its entirety stating the Your Future, Your Super Bill remains fatally flawed. If Your Future, Your Super is passed the Government would staple workers to dud funds and to funds which have not been subjected to performance benchmarks from the 1st of July 2021, condemning more than 1 million workers to a poorer retirement. While default products will be benchmarked in July, the scrutiny of largely bank-owned for-profit Choice products is baselessly delayed until 2022.
After a successful campaign by the Union movement, the Federal Parliament passed a watered-down Omnibus Bill but unfortunately further entrenched Casual Employment. The Senate passed the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia’s Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020 (the Omnibus Bill) with a number of significant amendments that removed Schedules 2 to 6 from the Bill. This means that the following proposed changes did not form part of the Bill which was approved by the Senate:
Next week the Senate will vote on whether or not to pass the Morrison Government’s anti-worker laws. These extreme laws would allow big business and employers to reduce job security and cut wages for millions of workers. We all need to make sure that every Australian knows about this attempt to punish workers. Last year, politicians like Scott Morrison, and big business executives went around the country declaring that workers were “heroes” for saving Australia from the pandemic.
Federal Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter introduced the Industrial Relations (IR) Omnibus bill just before Christmas which will clearly enhance the power of employers to hire workers on a just-in-time basis, suppress wages, and undermine terms and conditions of employment. The Coalition Government's proposed changes will accelerate the incidence of insecure work, undermine genuine collective bargaining, and suppress wages growth. Impacts will be felt across the entire workforce - casual and permanent workers alike.
The superannuation guarantee is set to increase in July this year from 9.5 per cent to 10 per cent for Australian workers however the federal government is exploring alternatives to alter or further delay the legislated increases. The original timetable has already been delayed since July 2014 when former prime minister Tony Abbott promised at the time a freeze would produce stronger wages, but wage growth immediately slowed. Increasing the super guarantee to 12 per cent was a Coalition and Labor election commitment in 2019 with the 9.5 per cent guarantee scheduled to rise to 12 per cent
The COVID-19 pandemic has brutally exposed the weaknesses in our current model of globalisation and neoliberal economics. In countries across the world, people have been left asking: how could we have been so exposed and unprepared? How is it possible that after years of booming stock markets and technological advances, many wealthy countries have struggled to keep their older members of society safe, their economies running, and their health services from collapsing?
Here’s how. Public Services International has produced an eight-part briefing series on tax. These briefs help ensure unions and workers have all the facts and arguments they need to win a fairer tax system.