This week, Australians watched Liberal after Liberal, from the Prime Minister down, throwing their support behind cuts to the penalty rates of ordinary workers, and voting against Labor’s legislation which would prevent these cuts.
Here are a few Liberal lowlights from this week:
• Malcolm Turnbull surprised nobody by wholeheartedly signing up to the cuts to penalty rates which will affect 700,000 people:
“We support the decision of the independent umpire because it is their decision.”
MALCOLM TURNBULL, QUESTION TIME, TUESDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2017
• Tony Abbott turned penalty rates into yet another Liberal leadership battleground, calling on the Prime Minister to strengthen his campaign defending the decision to cut penalty rates.
• Tony Abbott’s campaign manager and Employment-Minister-in-exile, Eric Abetz, feigned an interest in workers by suggesting the Government advocate to grandfather existing penalty rates. This ridiculous proposal would create two tiers of workers in Australia – those who receive fair pay for a day’s work, and those who don’t.
• Steve Ciobo bravely attempted to be even more out of touch than the Prime Minister, saying the decision will only affect those on the margins. We can only assume Steve will repeat these words to the people “on the margins” making his coffee this weekend.
“So it’s only those on the margins, the 20 per cent that are likely to be affected.”
STEVE CIOBO, SKY NEWS, 28 FEBRUARY 2018
• A cracker of a comment was made by the Member for Gilmore, Ann Sudmalis, when she called the cuts to penalty rates “a gift for our young people.” Workers on the South Coast will have the chance to thank Ann for this gift at the next election.
• Craig Kelly, the Member for Hughes, took to Facebook to throw his support behind Sudmalis’ comments, saying they were “exactly correct” and the “truth”. This is a bloke who believes climate change is a hoax and Tony Abbott was a good prime minister – not the best judgement.
• The Member for Chisolm, Julia Banks, told Sky News that the decision to cut penalty rates for 700,000 Australians is a good thing. The good people of Chisholm will be the judge of that, Julia. And they won’t forget your support for these pay cuts.
This week showed Malcolm Turnbull is the most out of touch prime minster we’ve ever had, leading the most out of touch government in Australian history.
There could not be a worse time to cut workers’ take home pay. Yet this is exactly what Malcolm Turnbull and every Coalition MP signed up to this week. Malcolm Turnbull has the power to stop the pay cuts to 700,000 workers, but he won’t, because he doesn’t understand middle and working class Australians.
Malcolm Turnbull is giving a $50 billion tax to big business and the banks, while ordinary workers are getting their pay cut.
A tax cut for big business and a pay cut for workers – Australians won’t forget this, Prime Minister.