Skip navigation

Adjournment: Public Sector Wage Gap

profile image
Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
31 October 2019

Mr HIBBINS : My adjournment matter is for the Treasurer, and the action I seek is for the Treasurer to abandon the government’s low 2 per cent public sector wage cap. This wage cap is suppressing wage growth across both the public and private sectors of our economy. This 2 per cent cap is actually lower than the projected CPI across the forward estimates, which means public sector workers could actually face real cuts to wages.

The governor of the Reserve Bank, Philip Lowe, warned earlier this year that federal and state government wage caps across the country are helping to depress wages by setting the standard for the private sector. As we face a stagnant economy, and the Reserve Bank are lowering interest rates and crying out for governments to help stimulate the economy, we need higher wages in the public sector. It is completely hypocritical for this Labor government, which last time I checked were campaigning for higher wages—I am pretty sure that is right; they were out there marching for higher wages—to be now in lock step with the conservative federal government in having austerity measures like low wages for public sector workers. What is even more galling are the massive pay rises of over 10 per cent that the Premier and Treasurer have now received.

They will claim it is independent, but what they will not tell you is that they opposed a Greens amendment to cap politicians’ pay rises to the public sector wages policy. And, at the same time, they tried to shoehorn a massive pay rise for some of their MPs sitting over there—one rule for them and another rule for public sector workers. This wage cap comes at the same time that the government has imposed almost $2 billion worth of cuts to the public sector in the form of so-called efficiency dividends. They are also continuing on their massive privatisation agenda of selling off government agencies—they are now targeting VicRoads as another government agency—in the biggest sell-off since Kennett. A report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work found that these measures are neither necessary nor effective, and instead they have contributed to broader wage stagnation, macroeconomic weakness, deterioration in service quality and growing inequality.

Members interjecting.

Mr HIBBINS: I am interested in the interjections by the $10 000 man over there, the man who was in receipt of his own—

The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Prahran!

Mr HIBBINS: When the union said change the rules, I do not think they meant change the law so the member for Essendon would get a massive pay rise. I do not think that was high on their agenda. Now, I get it: you have got to balance your books and you have got to have reasonable wage restraint. But they are not prepared to lift revenue by properly taxing the super profits of banks, the gambling industry and developers. They refuse to consider big structural changes like replacing stamp duty with a broad-based land tax. Instead they are going after the jobs and wages of public sector workers. We are standing up for public sector workers; over there you are selling them out.

profile image
Sam Hibbins MP
Member for Prahran
31 October 2019
SHARE:

WHAT I'M FIGHTING FOR


LATEST NEWS

MEDIA RELEASE

Greens call on Upper House to block Labor’s tax on electric vehicles

The Greens have urged non-government MPs to oppose the Victorian Labor Government’s proposed tax on people who drive electric vehicles when the bill moves through Parliament in the coming months.   At a time when countries around the world are making EVs more affordable to drive down greenhouse gas emissions,...

PARLIAMENT

Members Statement: Urban Environment

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): I rise to urge the state government to improve and consider our urban environment. I cite two examples where I recently met with residents where this needs to happen. Firstly, the Queens Way retaining walls, which were once porous green walls, have now been completely concreted over, with...

MEDIA RELEASE

Vicroads privatisation will put interested of private profit over public good

The Greens have slammed the Victorian Labor Government's decision to partly privatise VicRoads and have said it will put the interests of private profit over the public good. Victorian Greens spokesperson for transport, Sam Hibbins, said it was clear this government was addicted to privatisation and that it needed to...

PARLIAMENT

Question without Notice: Gas Imports

Mr HIBBINS (Prahran): My question is for the Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change. Minister, whilst last sitting week this house supported the ban on gas fracking in Victoria’s constitution, there are still currently plans for two gas import terminals in Victoria—in Western Port and Geelong. Can the minister...