Hon Angus Taylor MP

Shadow Treasurer

Member for Hume

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


16 March 2023


The Albanese Government must urgently help Australian families who are struggling to make ends meet rather than telling them they will have to work longer for less pay in the future.

Strong work force data released today which showed the unemployment rate dropped to 3.5% in February, with 74,900 full time jobs created, is little comfort to Australians battling a cost-of-living crisis.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor welcomes the strong employment figures but said the data shows Australians are having to work more hours to make ends meet.

“Household savings are down, families are reining in spending, and people are paying more in tax under Labor,” Mr Taylor said.

“Charities are seeing people on double incomes asking for help to put food on the table, people are being forced to take on a second job to pay the bills and worryingly, a record number of Australians are turning to Lifeline because it’s all getting too much.

“Labor’s only solution to the cost-of-living crisis is to break promises and raise taxes. Australians deserve a government that has their back but that’s not what they’re getting under Anthony Albanese.”

Shadow Minister for Employment Senator Michaelia Cash said: “Today Treasurer Chalmers tells Australians that under Labor they will actually need to work longer hours for less pay.”

“There is a disturbing pattern here where Labor promised one thing before the election but then delivers a completely different outcome now they are in Government,’’ she said.

“Treasurer Chalmers says he believes that Australia has a productivity problem, yet the focus of the Albanese Government over the last 10 months has been to implement a combative industrial relations system designed to promote conflict between employees and employers,’’ she said.

“The best way to improve productivity is to encourage businesses and their employees to work together for their mutual benefit. Labor believes that the only way to get wages moving is to encourage conflict,’’ Senator Cash said.

“The Albanese Government promised they would get wages moving, yet real wages are actually going backwards significantly, with the most recent figures showing wage growth at 3.4% vs CPI at 7.8%.’’ she said.

“The Albanese Government promised a $275 saving in electricity costs, now they admit that prices will actually increase by up to 30% in states such as Victoria in the middle of the year,’’ Senator Cash said.

“When will this Government get on with the job of helping Australians in these challenging times rather than looking after their union mates?’’ she said.