Senate debates

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Questions without Notice

Working Holiday Maker Program

2:40 pm

Photo of David LeyonhjelmDavid Leyonhjelm (NSW, Liberal Democratic Party) Share this | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister representing the Treasurer, Senator Cormann. Twenty years ago both sides of politics agreed that enterprise bargaining was better than government wage setting at promoting productivity, wages and employment, yet we still have government-imposed penalty rates, award wages and minimum wages. The Fair Work Ombudsman is responsible for enforcing this, but up until now economy-wide enforcement has been impossible due to a lack of data.

In your backpacker package you propose to allow the tax office to divulge the private financial affairs of employers who are not suspected of contravening tax obligations to the Fair Work Ombudsman. This will mean that, for the first time in Australia's history, there will be, effectively, enforcement of government wage setting to the detriment of productivity, wages and employment. Why is the Liberal-Nationals government doing this?


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