Well over one million people are award-dependent. They’re the people I’m talking about. If you improve the living wage, if you improve the minimum wage to a living wage, we want to see that flow through to the people still reliant on the award system.
That number is bigger than 100,000 people. But I get where the question is coming from.
It’s really about this ongoing boast that Mr Morrison keeps saying about a strong economy.
Let’s unpack what a Liberal strong economy is based upon. It’s based upon two principles, the first is keep wages as low as possible, and they’re proud of that, and keep making sure the profits go up and up.
This government has an almost religious conviction that if you can make the richest people in Australia richer, the richest companies richer, eventually some of the crumbs will fall off the table. That’s the first leg of the principles of Mr Morrison’s strong economy, keep wages down.
The second leg, and the Grattan Institute has blown the whistle on this today … that they believe keeps the economy strong, cut services.
Low wages and reduction in real services, that’s not the strong economy Australian needs. Labor, by contrast, believes in a strong economy built upon fairness and decency. We’re not going to stand by and watch Mr Morrison boast with a strategy where the rich get richer, the cost of living is squeezing millions of wage earners.