Disability advocates have ranked major parties and independents on their election commitments. The Greens and independent MP Andrew Wilkie are leading the pack. AAP reports:
Peak rights and advocacy organisation People with Disability Australia scored them on their election pledges, after sending its election platform a month ago and asking participants to clarify policy positions across seven issues affecting Australians living with disability.
The Liberal-National coalition, Labor, the Greens, One Nation, Centre Alliance and independent candidates Andrew Wilkie and Zali Steggall responded.
The responses have been used to develop a survey report and scorecard intended to be an easy reference guide for voters.
PWDA president, Samantha Connor, says the Greens and independent Andrew Wilkie “get the most thumbs up from us” as they have “demonstrated clear and worthwhile support of pretty much all the issues”. She said:
Their positions in relation to increasing financial security for people with disability and extending the NDIS to people over 65 years of age are of key interest.
Labor and independent MP for Mayo, Rebekah Sharkie, came in second.
PWDA will continue to advocate on a range of issues affecting people with disability in the lead-up to the election on May 21.
Jennett points out that even the government’s own numbers show inflation will keep rising, and asks Ruston is that makes a pay increase of about 4% “almost inevitable”.
Ruston says it’s up to the Fair Work Commission to make an informed and independent decision.
The Liberal campaign spokesperson, Anne Ruston, is on the ABC now.
Greg Jennett asks her if she’d be comfortable having some of the lowest paid workers get an effective wage cut. She says:
Well, of course we want to see all Australian workers get fair pay and we also are happy to see and would like to see Australian – some of our lowest paid workers paid more. But what we won’t do is interfere with the independent processes through which those wage levels are determined.
She’s now criticising Albanese for talking about that wage rise, at which point I’ll direct you (again) to Paul Karp’s factcheck on whether it’s “unprecedented” for governments to make submissions to the Fair Work Commission:
Kelly asks: When does a wage rise become inflationary?
Chalmers says: “What matters here is how much productivity you get with these wage increases.” Growing the economy without inflationary pressures and getting the economy going again is the aim, he says.
He says businesses who say they’ll have to pass on costs to customers is not good for the local economy.
The ABC’s Fran Kelly is quizzing Chalmers on why that wages figure won’t be put in a formal position. Chalmers says Labor’s position is clear:
We made that clear and what that means is $1 an hour for Australia’s lowest paid workers. That’s not too much to ask.
Many of the workers are the heroes of the pandemic, it’s not too much to ask they get a $1 an hour extra. If the prime minister wants to say an extra $1 an hour for Australia’s low paid workers will break the economy, then the economy is not in the condition he pretends it to be.
Labor’s treasury spokesperson, Jim Chalmers, is talking about leader Anthony Albanese’s pledge to support a 5.1% pay rise. He supports it, he says:
That’s because it’s entirely consistent with what we have been arguing for some time now. Which is [that] Australian workers, lowest paid workers in our economy shouldn’t be going backwards during Scott Morrison’s cost-of-living crisis.
But he says Labor hasn’t determined a “final position” and won’t commit to putting the figure in a submission to the Fair Work Commission.
The latest from Labor candidate Sally Sitou, in relation to this story from Paul Karp about Liberal MP Fiona Martin:
Donna Lu reports on new research into our car-centric cities – including Sydney, Melbourne, and Adelaide:
Queensland Nationals senator Matt Canavan has been asked on Sky News if he stands by his previous comments that the net zero emissions target is “dead”. He says he doesn’t support the Morrison government’s target but that he was speaking about the target being “dead” on a global scale:
I’ve repeated that a number of times, I’m happy to repeat it again.
The independent MP for Kennedy, Bob Katter, warns Labor not to ban the live animal trade, AAP reports.
I warn the ALP that the last time they closed the live animal trade I got rid of their leader Julia Gillard.
(Not quite how I remember it, Bob.)
Dr Kirstin Ferguson, from the Queensland University of Technology’s business school, has analysed Labor leader Anthony Albanese and prime minister Scott Morrison’s words over the past month. Here’s just one of the things she found:
Here’s Paul Karp’s report on Liberal MP Fiona Martin denying she had mixed up her Labor opponent, Sally Sitou, with another candidate:
The Australia Institute’s chief economist, Richard Denniss, says:
There are no easy choices facing Australian policy makers at the moment, but cutting the real wages of millions of Australians would have to be one of the worse ones.
Does this mean I have to catch up on Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce’s performance at the National Press Club? I will, I promise, when I find the time.
Hello all, welcome to the part of the afternoon where we try to imagine the two leaders limbering up for tonight’s debate, while their staffers fire practice questions at them:
Forget the lettuce! How much is the wage rise they want?
And now I’ll hand you over to the fantastic Tory Shepherd for the remainder of your afternoon.
NSW premier, Dominic Perrottet, has ruled out a London-style congestion tax for drivers in Sydney’s city centre, AAP reports.
He was responding to a confidential leaked draft transport strategy from February, advising that transport pricing needs to reflect the true cost of using the state’s roads.
“Charging for road use at certain locations or times can encourage customers who have flexibility to choose other options,” the document, reported by Nine, says.
Perrottet dismissed suggestions of such a tax. He said on Wednesday:
There is no plan for a congestion tax and and we can rule it out completely.
A congestion tax was introduced in London in 2003, with drivers paying about $25 over a 20km sq radius of the city.
Perrottet said the government encouraged its public servants to come up with new ideas and think broadly and ambitiously.
Another suggestion was to change public transport fares, which are subsidised, to reflect “the true cost of trips”.
The government receives advice yearly from the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal on public transport fares.
The premier said:
We weigh that up and we make the decision, but I’m a big believer in subsidised public transport … it’s a great social good.
The opposition leader, Chris Minns, is not convinced. He said:
I don’t believe that for a second. When it comes to this government’s track record on privatisation, user pays and toll roads you should never believe it when they suggest a congestion charge is not on the way.
Labor has been arguing for months that the price of everything has been going up, except your wages.
But the debate over the minimum wage really took off on Tuesday when Anthony Albanese endorsed a specific pay rise: 5.1%, to keep up with inflation.
Now the government is accusing Labor of policy on the run and an “unprecedented” intervention in an independent wage-setting process. Is that true?
Find the answers here: