Monday, 11 September 2023
Questions without Notice
I did say I was going to answer it in full, and I am going to take the time that's allocated to me to answer it. I can understand why those opposite don't want to hear an answer about wages, because such an appalling feature of their economic plan was to keep wages low and to ensure that working people didn't get the wage increases that they deserved to deal with the cost of living and to ensure living standards remained high. As Senator Brockman—or former president Brockman, with that instruction that he gave me in the point of order to you, Madam President—would know, we are experiencing a period of high inflation, so that does impact on real wage outcomes. We have said that inflation is staying higher for longer than we would like, and the highest quarter of inflation actually occurred on the former government's watch, in the March quarter of 2022. So, whilst inflation remains high and wages are improving—and they are improving—real wage outcomes will be affected, and we are seeing that. It's forecast in our budget.
Opposition senators interjecting—
Well, you all have the budget papers in front of you. I know what you're trying to do. I am being honest about the issue.