Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas has welcomed the third change to public service wages policy this year, saying that another increase was an admission from the McGowan Government that in the light of the cost of living rises this year their previous two policies were wholly inadequate.
“I have been saying for nearly a year that the McGowan Government should be doing more to help families and households as the community grapples with the rapidly rising cost of living.
“We have now seen five consecutive monthly interest rate rises, and the cash rate has risen from 0.1% at the start of May to 2.35%.
“Given the inflation result in America this week we should be expecting further interest rate rises here.”
Dr Thomas said that today’s announcement of another increase in the Government’s offer was simply recognition, belated and begrudging, that their previous offers did not make the grade.
“Mark McGowan has been more interested in sitting in his money bin rolling in the cash provided by massive surpluses than sharing that wealth appropriately with workers through the development of an adequate and fair wages policy.
“He is sitting on more than $20 billion in surpluses over five years, so he can well and truly afford to give some back to struggling households.”
The other issue the McGowan Government has been avoiding is the cost of living impacts on the 90% of workers in WA that do not work for the public service, said Dr Thomas.
“Now that he has admitted he has to do more for public servants, what is the McGowan Government doing to mitigate the impact for the other 1,350,000 Western Australian workers and their families?
“The State Government has a role to play in helping all West Australians cope with the massive increase in their daily costs, and it should immediately focus on how much it charges people for Government fees and charges.
“Given the massive budget surpluses the Government is getting, thanks mainly to iron ore royalties, they should be looking to minimise the imposts they themselves put on people in terms of fees and charges,” said Dr Thomas.