Australia Bill Shorten says workers on $150,000 are struggling to make ends meet
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Government services minister Bill Shorten has claimed Australians earning as much as $150,000 a year are struggling to make ends meet as the cost-of-living soars.
Mr Shorten said high-income earners who were bringing home more than $100,000 a year were feeling the pinch because of.
His comments came as he defendedand his government's push to boost wages through its contentious industrial relations reforms.
'What's motivated this (IR) legislation has been to redress the imbalance in the Australian economy, where basically the share of national income going to pay-as-you-go tax earners has fallen,' Mr Shorten told the ABC.
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Videos show workers marching, with some being confronted by people in hazmat suits and riot police. Last month a surge in Covid cases saw the company lock down the campus, prompting some workers to break out.The company then recruited new workers with the promise of generous bonuses.Footage shared on a livestreaming site showed workers shouting: "Defend our rights! Defend our rights!" Other workers were seen smashing surveillance cameras and windows with sticks.Several clips also showed workers complaining about food they had been given and saying they had not received bonuses as promised.
'And I must say, there is an economic benefit to the whole economy. When people have a little bit more money to spend and when you're on less than, you know, $100,000 or $120,000, $150,000 a year, you spend nearly everything you get.
'What this does is provides economic activity.'
Critics have said businesses forced to pay higher wages will simply pass this onto consumers in the form of higher prices, thus making the cost-of-living crisis even worse.
The legislation passed through the Senate on Thursday night and will go to the House of Representatives on Friday.
The wide-reaching bill includes stopping employers from banning staff from discussing their wages, and beefs up the Fair Work Commission's powers to increase women's wages.
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Workers will be able to demand flexible hours and more easily sue ex-employers to recover lost wages and entitlements.
Rolling short-term contracts that effectively keep workers on endless probation will be banned, 'zombie agreements' from the WorkChoices era ended, and red tape cut from the better off overall test.
But the most controversial part of the legislation that was bitterly opposed by business lobby groups was the revival of multi-employer bargaining.
This made it easier to set up agreements that covered more than one company - and theoretically entire industries - instead of each business having its own.
Unions could drag businesses into these agreements if they met certain conditions, and workers voted in favour.
Bill Shorten orders investigation into claims former cabinet minister Stuart Robert intervened to help friends win Centrelink contract
NDIS Minister Bill Shorten says concerning new reports of former cabinet minister Stuart Robert's alleged interference to help negotiate a multimillion-dollar Centrelink contract will be investigated "thoroughly", as Mr Robert denies any misconduct.Nine newspapers have reported that consulting firm Synergy360, whose shareholders are close friends of Mr Robert, claimed in leaked emails that the then-NDIS minister had allegedly met with them several times over a multimillion-dollar Centrelink contract, which was ultimately won by a client of the firm.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers is also contemplating whether to amend stage three tax cuts, which will benefit workers making more than $120,000.
The tax cuts, passed by the former government, are due in July 2024 and abolish the 37 per cent marginal tax bracket completely, and lower the 32.5 rate to 30 per cent.
Essentially, everyone earning between $45,000 and $200,000 will pay the same 30 per cent tax rate - ultimately benefiting workers earning more than $120,000 a year.
Mr Albanese went to the 2022 election promising no changes to what Scott Morrison legislated, despite it being unpopular with some members of caucus.
Dr Chalmers has indicated he could amend the package, as Australia struggles to fight inflation.
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A thousand Border Force passport staff at five major airports today became the latest public sector workers to walk out and ruin the festive plans of millions of Britons. The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) Union said arrivals staff at Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow will strike from December 23 - 26 and December 28. And tonight, the RMT union warned that a resolution to the ongoing rail dispute is 'further away' following Government intervention.