The Rockliff Ferguson Liberal Government have delivered their first budget and if Tasmanian workers were hoping to see action on wages or job security, they will be sorely disappointed.
Tasmania is in the grip of a cost-of-living crisis and while the Treasurer’s speech is full of detail on the spiralling living costs facing Tasmanians, it doesn’t outline a single Government initiative that will help get wages moving.
Worse still, the forecast pay rise for public sector workers (inclusive of all allowances and other conditions) is a mere 2.5% which will see essential workers across the entire public service experience a real wage cut with Tasmanian inflation running at 5.8%.
“Tasmania has some of the lowest wages in the country and some of the highest levels of workforce casualisation,” said Unions Tasmania Secretary, Jessica Munday. “To suggest that we’re going to address rising cost of living pressures without delivering wage growth for workers is fantasy and will put a handbrake on our local economy as workers continue to tighten their purse strings just to afford to pay for essentials.”
“This sends a signal to the entire private sector that low ball wage offers are acceptable when they absolutely are not. There will be no relief from the cost-of-living crisis without a decent wage rise,” said Ms Munday.
This year’s budget also includes a welcome Gender Budget Statement which aims to highlight how the State Budget will target areas of inequality facing women, men, and gender diverse Tasmanians but it does not once mention the gender pay gap or any action to target lifting women’s wages.
“The gender pay gap is the biggest barrier to women achieving economic security, now and in retirement. Having a Gender Budget Statement without any action on this critical issue shows the Government is still behind the eight ball when it comes to addressing gender equity at work,” said Ms Munday.
For further information contact Jessica Munday on 0417 454 809