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Government's own advice says low paid will suffer under new work laws

19 December 2005

Secret advice to the Federal Treasurer Peter Costello confirms that changes to work laws will reduce the wage rises low-paid workers receive.

The advice from Treasury also contradicts the Government's claims that there will be a huge surge in employment and productivity under the new laws.

The advice, revealed in The Australian newspaper, said that wages growth was likely to be lower under the new system.

"Due to the greater focus on economic impacts, increases in minimum wages are likely to be lower than they would have been under the adversarial system," the Treasury memo states.

It also says productivity growth would slow in the short term not rise as the Prime Minister John Howard and Mr Costello have repeatedly claimed.

HSU national secretary Craig Thomson said the secret advice showed the Government had deliberately misled people about the impact of new work laws which come into effect early next year.

"These changes are not about higher wages and they are not about higher productivity and a major increase in jobs," he said.

"These changes are designed to keep wage increases down and boost the profits of the big businesses that support the Howard Government.

"That is what people from across the community, church groups, charitable groups and union leaders have been saying from the start."

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