ScoMo Called Anthony Albanese A “Loose Unit” For Supporting Wage Increases

“As a prime minister … you can’t just go around making stuff up."

anthony albanese wage increase

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Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has been dubbed a “complete loose unit” by Prime Minister Scott Morrison for supporting a 5.1 percent wage increase and if you’ll excuse me, I think this is where I’m officially tapping out.

On Tuesday, Albanese confirmed he would “absolutely” support a 5.1 percent wage increase asserting that “people can’t afford to go backwards”, but refused to support the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU)’s desire for this to be bumped up to 5.5 percent.

These figures are based on what would be needed to balance out the exorbitant inflation rates we’re currently experiencing, with ACTU secretary Sally McManus asserting this is the bare minimum needed to keep people afloat right now.

“A 5.5 per cent increase is what is now needed just to ensure people tread water, anything less has them drowning in bills,” said McManus last week, arguing the minimum annual rate should be raised from $40,175.20 to $42,384.84.

However, Morrison has been quick to condemn Albanese’s comments.

“Anthony Albanese’s… thoughtlessness on this would actually make inflation worse, it would make interest rates rise even higher, it would threaten the strong wage growth we have had in employment, and ultimately it would force small businesses… potentially out of business altogether,” Morrison said on Tuesday.

“As a prime minister… you can’t just go around making stuff up and thoughtlessly think that people can respect you when you just make these sorts of careless comments on the economy.

“What he said yesterday puts a chain reaction in place, dominos falling that lead to higher… cost of living.”

The chief executive of the Australian Industry Group Innes Willox — who quite literally represents employers — told Nine Radio that five percent wage growth isn’t sustainable for businesses.

“Everyone should get a pay rise… the fact that we already have the highest minimum wage, we’re the champion of minimum wage, and unions want to put them up by another 5.5 per cent – that’s another $42 a week,” said Willox, making no mention of the fact that $42 a week is barely enough to keep up with the rising cost of living.

“Of course that then flows through to every other wage negotiation that business has… not every business (can afford it). There are hundreds of thousands of small businesses and for many of them, this would be a backbreaker, it’s not sustainable for them to be asked to pay this.

“It’s just not going to work for small and medium businesses. It would be (the final nail in the coffin). We have to be very careful.”

Albanese defended himself, asserting that a 5.1 percent wage increase won’t impact interest rates — noting that Labor has a plan to keep inflation under control and accusing Morrison of being “loose with the truth”.

“I don’t want people to be left behind. People are doing it really tough — the cost of living, the cost of everything is going up but their wages aren’t,” he told 2DayFM.

The decision to increase wages has historically been up to the FairWork Commission.