Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Statements by Members
It was 24 September 2016. Six months ago, Catherine and Jacob, a young couple who live in my electorate, were married. They had saved and budgeted for their wedding and their honeymoon, and they were looking forward to starting a family sometime soon. On 22 February 2017, the Turnbull government decided to cut their take-home pay. Where will this pay cut hurt the most? Will it be their mortgage? Will it be their ability to shop locally? Or will it be their ability to start a family?
You see, both Catherine and Jacob work for a major retailer and both rely upon the penalty rates that they receive to augment their total income. They have done the maths. With these cuts, they are set to lose over $130 combined in take-home pay each week. That is about $7,000 a year. What sets this couple apart from most is that they have actually looked ahead. They have realised that, with these cuts, they are set to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in superannuation—money that they were counting on to secure them a very comfortable retirement—hundreds of thousands of dollars!
Recently, I met with Catherine and her co-worker on a Sunday evening—just after they had finished their shift—and I shared this meeting on my Facebook page. I note the member for Petrie obviously monitors my Facebook page because yesterday, here in the chamber, he made reference to it. He admitted that he does not know Cat or Erin's particulars and yet he arrogantly trumpeted that I was, 'Not letting the facts get in the way of a good story.' The member for Petrie literally stated that he did not know the facts and yet he claimed I was using misleading facts. Deputy Speaker Hastie, I wonder if you have ever heard of such a bold disregard for logic? I will not let the facts get in the way of a good story and I will not let a good story get in the way of facts. Instead, how about I just read the facts and let them tell the story?
Catherine and Jacob: young, recently married and they both live in my electorate of Longman. They both work for a major retailer in the electorate of Petrie. Neither Catherine nor Jacob are on an EBA—in fact, they are paid under the award. Both are permanent, full-time employees. Both rely upon penalty rates. Together, they are set to lose $130 a week, or around $7,000 a year. They are set to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in superannuation. The member for the electorate in which they live is fighting for them; the member for the electorate in which they work is fighting against them. The fact is: this government just gave Cat and Jacob a pay cut and gave their employer a $50 billion tax cut.