18 July 2005
Tax Cut Promises Hide National's Real Agenda
The National Party’s promise of tax cuts is a smokescreen to hide its real agenda of slashing wages and taking away gains in workplace legislation, Council of Trade Unions president Ross Wilson told union members in Invercargill today.
Representatives from unions around Southland were meeting this afternoon to discuss a range of issues, including the CTU’s election campaign which is in full swing.
Tax cuts favoured those on high incomes and would only put tiny amounts back into the pockets of ordinary workers, Ross Wilson said. “Australians were recently given tax cuts. The average worker gets $6 more a week, while the top earner gets $86 more.”
Tax cuts were only affordable if the government increased borrowing or cut spending. “Increasing borrowing forces up mortgage interest rates and spending cuts mean cuts to public services like health and education,” he said.
Workers were better off with decent pay rises, but that would not happen if National won the election as it planned to weaken collective bargaining by going back to the Employment Contracts Act model of the 1990s.
“Even a 5 per cent wage increase would give a worker on the average wage $27 more in their hand every week,” he said.
Cuts to annual leave, sick leave, bereavement leave and public holiday payments would also hit workers in the pocket under a National government.
“Workers should not be sucked in by National’s empty promises of tax cuts. We will all pay a high price if we elect a National government.”