Australians Must Fight for the Basic Wage

Federal Member for Fairfax

Media release

Australians must fight to retain the basic wage which has been put under threat by the Abbott government’s Commission of Audit, says Palmer United Party federal leader and Member for Fairfax Clive Palmer.

Mr Palmer said the recommendation to benchmark the minimum wage at 44 per cent of average wages could lead to Australian living standards being destroyed.

“The basic wage protects the rights of all Australians but drastic cuts have been proposed by the Commission of Audit,” he said.

“We don’t want to see our basic wage drop to levels that apply in India or other countries or we’ll see our way of life being destroyed.

“For the Commission of Audit and the Abbott government to contemplate this cut to the basic wage is a very serious matter.”

Mr Palmer said plans to raise eligibility for the age pension to 70 by 2053 and include the family home in a new means test from 2027 were also an unnecessary attack on elderly Australians.

He said the Palmer United Party’s policy at the last federal election was to increase the amount paid to an aged pensioner, not increase the age of when a person is entitled to the aged pension.

“The Commission of Audit’s recommended changes to the aged pension will not be supported by the Palmer United Party,” he said.

“To include the family home that people have lived in for 40 years in a means test will put people in the twilight of their lives on the street. The Palmer United Party won’t allow that to happen.”

Mr Palmer said there was no need for a Commission of Audit as OECD figures show Australia has one of the healthiest economies in the world.

“The chairman of the audit commission Tony Shepherd also has no qualifications as an auditor that meet with international accounting standards,” he said.