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April 16, 2016

Labor calls on the Abbott-Turnbull Government to commit to maintaining the Fair Entitlements Guarantee (FEG) scheme, which it sought to significantly cut in the 2014-15 Budget.  

Labor welcomes the Government’s commitment to pay the entitlements owed to sacked QLD Nickel workers, but notes that if the Government had its way the workers at QLD Nickel who lost their job through no fault of their own, would be receiving a much lower amount.

The only reason the workers will be in receipt of this payment is because Labor established the FEG and stopped the Liberals from substantially cutting it.

The Abbott-Turnbull Government’s Fair Entitlements Guarantee Amendment Bill 2014, which would significantly cut the entitlements of workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own, still sits in the Senate and is still supported by every single member of the Abbott-Turnbull Government.

It is only Labor that has successfully ensured the Government has failed to secure the passage of the Bill.  

The Abbott-Turnbull Government who, despite significant job losses at Queensland Nickel, those to come at Arrium and others, is still committed to slashing the FEG. 

Labor also notes that a lot of stress and uncertainty could have been avoided if the Government made this decision earlier.

On multiple occasions, from as early as January, Labor asked Malcolm Turnbull and the Minister for Employment to expedite the entitlements payment, but they consistently refused.

Like everything else, Malcolm Turnbull remains committed to delivering Tony Abbott's policy.

It is deeply disappointing that Liberal Members around the country have not advocated for expeditious payment of the FEG to workers who has lost their jobs. It is, however, even more disappointing that they voted to support the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s legislation which will see an enormous cut to the FEG.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government’s sudden care for working Australians is exposed by its previous attempts to cut the entitlements for all workers.

Labor knows this government has no respect for working Australians - this is a government that wants to slash the penalty rates of millions of working Australians.