Major Budget measures announced today show the Albanese Labor Government implementing a bold reform agenda to address issues facing low-paid workers in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis, United Workers Union said today.
“The Federal Government is to be applauded for its $11.3 billion commitment to boost aged care workers’ salaries by 15 per cent,” United Workers Union National President Jo Schofield said today.
“In targeting aged care, disability, health, addressing cost-of-living pressures facing low-income households and establishing a transition agency for workers in climate-affected industries, the Budget measures build on Labor’s commitment to make Australia a fairer society.
“If we contrast where we are today with the inaction and incompetence of the previous Federal Government, we are seeing a Labor Government that prioritises working people and the issues they face in their lives.”
EARLY EDUCATORS FRUSTRATED AT MISSED OPPORTUNITY ON WAGES
Ms Schofield said the Budget offered a blueprint for tackling the continuing care crisis in female-dominated industries, with estimates of 300,000 jobs that need to be filled in the health and social assistance sectors over the next five years.
“We see the 15 per cent aged care pay correction as a first step that needs to be built on,” Ms Schofield said.
“Early educators are frustrated that today’s Budget missed the opportunity to directly fund a wage increase for the sector. The $55 billion in early education funding allows price cuts for families and drives demand for places, yet $72 million earmarked for training does not meaningfully address educators’ wages.
“Without a commitment from government, even more educators will leave the sector, and put even more pressure on families’ ability to secure the quality affordable early learning they need for their children.
“United Workers Union early educators will continue to campaign for a 25 per cent wage increase to address the workforce crisis in Australia’s early learning sector, and they are not backing down.
“In the NDIS, we believe a workforce strategy that respects the vital importance of Disability Support Workers will ensure a workforce that can deliver the necessary levels of quality and support.”
PRESSURE ON BUDGET SHOWS MADNESS OF STAGE 3 TAX CUTS
Ms Schofield said tonight’s Budget also starkly demonstrated the planned circa $190 billion in stage three tax cuts to Australia’s wealthiest income earners was unfair and unsustainable.
“The pressures on tonight’s Budget show the madness of delivering $189 billion in stage three tax cuts to Australia’s wealthiest income earners,” Ms Schofield said.
“When Jobseeker, Medicare and NDIS are straining to provide appropriate levels of support to Australia’s most vulnerable, tax cuts of this size for the very wealthy are simply unfair and unsustainable.
“If Labor is truly going to be able to deliver on its reform agenda, it needs to get rid of this Scott Morrison fever dream that enriches the already-wealthy at the expense of low-income Australians.”
ENDS Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]