Today’s State Budget fails to address the state’s most pressing economic challenge, the crisis in wages.

Unions NSW Secretary, Mark Morey lashed Treasurer Dominic Perrottet for keeping the 2.5 per cent wage cap in place.

“The NSW Government is the nation’s largest employer, responsible for one-in-ten jobs in this state. If it won’t breathe life into wages, who will?

“The Reserve Bank Governor has repeatedly said Australia needs wage growth of 3.5 per cent. Today was Dominic Perrottet’s chance to become a serious national economic player and he squibbed it.

“While the Treasurer is forecasting wage growth, buried in the Budget papers is the real truth of the NSW labour market. The Budget’s Economic Scenario Analysis warns of higher unemployment and lower real wage growth in NSW.

“There is one way to sort this mess out and that is to remove the wage cap. Public sector wages traditionally set the pace for broader wage growth because of their spillover effect into the private sector. But under the Liberals this has dried up into a trickle.”

Job cuts will corrode public services

Unions are deeply alarmed at the 2500 public sector job cuts.

“The Liberal Party’s mass sacking of public sector workers will directly impact the work of firefighters, paramedics, police, nurses and teachers. There is no fat in the public sector, these cuts carve into bone and muscle,” Mr Morey said.

“Every public sector job worker serves the people of NSW. If you cut the job of an administrative worker you don’t remove their work. It just gets done by a paramedic, a nurse or a teacher instead.

“NSW has surging population growth. By 2035, Western Sydney alone is projected to grow by 700,000 people, the equivalent of two Canberra's. We can’t afford to lose any jobs, let alone 2,500.

“The Government did not take this slash and burn plan to the election. The loss of these public sector jobs, especially in the bush, undermines economic growth in regional and rural communities”

No regional youth unemployment strategy

Despite youth unemployment in Coffs Harbour exceeding 20 per cent, 14 per cent in the Capital region and well above 10 per cent across many parts of regional NSW, the Budget does not do enough to connect young people with jobs.

“This Government has no plan to create jobs for young people in the bush. It’s only agenda is slashing public sector jobs and selling off public assets.

“Rather than creating jobs in the regions and outer suburbs, this Government’s vision is for driverless trains on a privatised rail network in the middle of Sydney.

“This Government’s economic record is smoke and mirrors. They have privatised $70 billion worth of assets, wasting $14 billion in cost blowouts. That’s not financial management, that’s a squalid fire sale.”

Heartless approach to sick and injured workers

The Government’s approach to workers compensation demonstrates its complete absence of compassion and forethought. The Budget papers show a $300 million workers compensation insurance premium discount for employers.

“Since it was elected, this Government has decimated the workers compensation system. Now, rather using this $300 million to restore benefits to some of society’s most vulnerable people, it is giving yet another tax cut to employers.”

Mark Morey and Public Service Association Acting General Secretary, Troy Wright will be available for interview at NSW parliament from 12:30. Please call Nick Lucchinelli on 0422 229 032 or Suze Metherell on 0412 867 084


Tuesday, 18 June 2019

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