The government must boost the growth of quality jobs in order to raise living standards and off-set an economic disaster, the Transport Workers’ Union has said today.
TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 5 December 2014
Only when Australians feel financially confident working in jobs with fair pay and conditions will the economy get the lift it needs, says TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“This government is bent on driving through a flawed policy of privatisation of public services and dishing up low paid, part time and casual jobs. This will not repair the damage done to our economy. This will only serve to make matters worse,” Mr Sheldon told a discussion today on the future of the Australian economy.
Australians were acutely aware that not everyone was feeling the pain in the income recession. “How can it be that the Commonwealth Bank can record a profit this year of $8.6 billion and ANZ Bank can post a profit of $7.1 billion but ordinary Australian have seen their income fall with their wages slipping below inflation? If the government doesn’t see this as the main difficulty we have a real problem on our hands,” Sheldon said.
Former Treasurer Wayne Swan told the gathering hosted by think tank Per Capita that the government had taken confidence out of the economy. “If you spend the entire year telling everyone the country is an economic basket and there is an economic emergency then people will be wary about how much they spend,” he said.
Infrastructure spending for public transport, broadband and training had to increase in order to benefit the community and boost investment. “The government has cut funding for training and TAFE and opening up our market to overseas labor. This erodes our rights here in Australia and facilitates the exploitation of overseas workers,” said Sheldon.
“We need to take back our economic freedom and hold our companies to account. Australians do not want a race to the bottom. They do not want the sort of economy that the Abbott government is trying to impose on them - that’s why this government is so unpopular.”