The Government must act: Union

The Governor of the RBA, Philip Lowe, has today suggested that public sector wage caps imposed by Government are a factor in subduing our economy.

The Government has imposed a 2% wages cap in the public service, despite most federal public servants having also suffered a three year wage freeze under the Coalition.

In his remarks this morning, Mr Lowe said “caps on wages growth in public sectors right across the country are another factor contributing to the subdued wage outcomes. At the aggregate level, my view is that a further pick-up in wages growth is both affordable and desirable.”

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said, “This Government has a shocking record on wages, capping wage rises for both the public service and Australian Defence Force. Most public servants got just 1% a year under this Government, while some officers in the Department of Home Affairs had their take-home pay cut to pre-2013 levels.”

“The message to the Government is clear. If this Government wants to claim the mantle of responsible economic managers, then it must reverse those polices that hurt jobs and ordinary Australians, because our economy is suffering.

“The Government has within its reach the policy levers to fix our economy. Their decision to implement a low wages cap is one that can be changed, and one that should be changed.

“Our members have been making the case for lifting its wage cap. We see every day the effect the wages cap and job cuts have on our services. Pensioners wait for months, 55 million calls go unanswered, jobs are lost at our borders and people can’t get their tax returns done, while public sector workers struggle to pay their bills. We need good secure jobs in the public service to deliver our services and wage rises to keep our economy going.

“The Centre for Future Work released a study showing public sector wages are critical to our prosperity. We know the flow-on effects of cutting our members’ wages in real terms are showing in the whole economy. The Government’s own Department and Agency heads have been calling for this change so they can get their work done.

“We want to see Government allow public service agencies to work with us to make this change so we can deliver secure jobs, good services and a growing economy.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Claire Pullen 0424 015 429