AUSTRALIA - New industrial relations reforms could see pensioners face cuts to their benefits according to Labour's treasury spokesman, Wayne Swan (pictured).
In an interview with the Australian media yesterday, the Labour MP warned the possibility of lowering wages could not help but impact on pensions in the longer run.
He said: “If they reduce wages growth, they reduce increases in the pension as well. So this package that they've got out there has a fundamental effect across the lives of all Australians, not just those in the workforce, and could ultimately hit the pension as well.
“I think that's why a lot of pensioners are concerned, not just for their immediate financial well-being into the future, but also for the sort of system that will be left to their children and their grandchildren. They don't want an industrial relations system which delivers a bigger army of working poor in this country.”
The criticism comes on the back of the government’s creation of the Fair Pay Commission designed to make the wage setting system simpler and fairer by promoting economic prosperity.
The commission will have the power to set and adjust the federal minimum wage but has come up against severe opposition from both industrial unions and the opposition who fear it will badly affect peoples’ rights in the workplace.
Swan claimed: “The Government's out there trying to divert attention from its extreme industrial relations changes and its attempts to reduce the living standards of working people in this country.”
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