10 May 2018

The Turnbull Government’s unfair 2018 Budget gives big business and the banks an $80 billion tax handout, and does nothing to address serious problems with stagnant wages and insecure work.
Yet again, despite record low wages growth, the Turnbull government continues to rely on overly optimistic wage forecasts. 
The truth is that Malcolm Turnbull’s income tax measures won’t nearly make up for the fact Australians have been hit with the lowest wages growth in 25 years. 
Australians are feeling the pinch – wages growth has stagnated and wages growth in private sector enterprise agreements struck in 2017 was the lowest for 25 years.
If Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t so out of touch he would drop his support for penalty rate cuts.
There are structural problems in our labour market, with a persistent underemployment problem and growing insecure work.  There are more than 1.1 million underemployed Australians looking for more work, but unable to find it.
Even the Budget papers state that despite global growth at its best in six years, “underemployment remains elevated”.
Ongoing high levels of youth unemployment is a particular concern. The rate of long term unemployed young people jumped from 22.6 per cent in 2008 to 26.6 per cent in 2018. 

The latest Department of Jobs and Small Business “Australian Jobs 2018” reports conceded that “many young people are continuing to encounter difficulties when trying to secure work, and are facing longer spells of unemployment, with the burden of long-term unemployment being disproportionately felt by youth.” 
There is nothing in this budget to deal with these issues.
While high unemployment rates haven't disappeared from many parts of Australia, the government's references about its own flagship jobs programs certainly have.  
There was a time when Youth Jobs PaTH and Work for the Dole would get their own mentions in Budget night speeches - now they're completely overlooked in the budget papers and government media releases.

The government owes the hundreds of thousands of jobless Australians job programs that actually work. But what they're getting from the Turnbull Government is announcements about yet another round of new programs that can’t promise long term jobs. 

Because of Turnbull, big business gets more while Australian workers miss out. 
Australians have been let down by this Budget and this out of touch government. Nothing in this Budget guarantees decent, secure jobs, now.
It’s time Mr Turnbull decided to back workers instead of multinationals and millionaires.

We'll Put People First.