House debates

Monday, 11 September 2023

Statements by Members


1:56 pm

Photo of Sam RaeSam Rae (Hawke, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

After nearly a decade of deliberate wage suppression from the Liberals opposite, the Albanese Labor government is successfully getting wages moving again. The average full-time worker's pay is up 3.9 per cent in the first year of the Albanese government, with the wage price index at its highest level in over a decade. Importantly, the wages of our lowest paid workers are growing fastest at 4.9 per cent, putting more money in the pockets of those who need it most.

Unlike those opposite, we aren't afraid of strong wages growth. At every opportunity since their return to the opposition benches, the Liberals have desperately tried to stop our efforts to see workers fairly compensated. Without understanding the details of our economic setting, they recycle the same Liberal talking points and ignore the evidence. It's the same old Liberal Party. What more could we expect from the self-proclaimed economic geniuses who deliberately suppressed wages growth for working Australians and left us with $1 trillion of Liberal debt, as well as failing to deliver a single budget surplus in a decade?

Unlike the Liberals, we understand that the divergence between return on capital and return on wages is leaving our economy worse off and that in a competitive marketplace, sensible pay increases will not inflate our economy. Despite their frenzied cries of economic destruction under Labor, it was the Liberals that spent nearly a decade failing to protect our supply chains, sabotaging our sovereign capability, eroding competition and racking up $1 trillion of Liberal debt. (Time expired)