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Wage Freeze Bill Backflip

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Thursday, 25 September 2014

Tags: Wages, Legislation

The Treasurer’s desperate attempt to cook up amendments to the Crown Employee (Salaries) Bill 2014 to try and convince the Legislative Council to fix the unfixable is an extraordinary admission of failure by this shambles of a government, said Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP.

“This inept Hodgman regime is descending even deeper into the land of the farcical,” Mr Booth said.

“The Treasurer’s backflip on his previous arrogant claim there were no problems with his wage freeze Bill vindicates all those the Liberals told to shut-up and get out of their way including the unions, the Industrial Commission, and the Opposition parties.”

“Mr Gutwein’s 11th hour amendments to appease the Legislative Council vindicate the Greens’ on a range of concerns we raised before debate in the Lower House was gagged.”

“It was the Greens who pointed out that the Bill only applies to some public servants, and excluded the more highly paid positions of judges, magistrates, the DPP, the Auditor-General and the Solicitor-General.  Now apparently the Treasurer is prepared to see those positions included.”

“We now have the admission, in the form of the Treasurer’s mooted amendments, that despite earlier statements by the Liberals, the wage freeze will be longer than 12 months.”

“The Treasurer’s proposed amendment to remove the capacity for government to interfere in industrial matters is also a significant admission that the Bill would sideline the independent Industrial Commission.”

“This wage freeze Bill was a disaster to begin with, and Mr Gutwein’s backflips only cement our opposition to this Bill, amended or not.  He must heed the calls to do what he should have done months ago and that is to sit down and negotiate with the unions over a way forward,” Mr Booth said.