Monday, 22 February 2021
Questions without Notice
Mr Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition asked: should Australian workers be paid at least the minimum wage? If not, why have one? The answer to that question is that if you change the remuneration structure from what it has traditionally been in Australia for 30 years, and all Australian workers received the types of benefits that the Leader of the Opposition is saying publicly that he would provide to them, the cost to business of that is $20 billion. If you move workers from the present system of remuneration to a new system of remuneration, the cost of that is $20 billion. So when the Leader of the Opposition or the member for Watson asks, 'Why is it complicated?' it's because a massive cost attaches to it. And when that cost was pointed out to members opposite, the promise changed overnight. The promise didn't even survive a single 24-hour period, because what they do is pretend to people that something that is complicated is simple.