CTU MEDIA RELEASE
18 May 2006
Budget Addresses Modernisation Agenda
"The priority at this time is to invest in a modernisation programme that can lift wages and economic performance on a sustainable basis. The Budget addresses that key agenda," said Ross Wilson, Council of Trade Unions president today. "The $1.3 billion transport package, the new funding for literacy, numeracy and language skills, boosted funding for modern apprentices and the $64 million reallocation for market development assistance are all about improving our infrastructure, the skills of our workforce and our export performance," said Ross Wilson. "The extra $100 million on research, science and technology is also welcome."
This years Budget also confirmed the lift to $1.6 billion a year of tax relief for low and middle income families, Ross Wilson said.
"Aged care workers will be disappointed about the inadequate funding for caregivers in this budget," said Ross Wilson. "The Budget does announce an increase in funding in this area, but it will not go far enough in addressing the chronic low wages in the sector," he said.
"Extra funding earmarked for early childhood education is very positive, both for parents accessing it and by bringing more qualified teachers into the system."
"The CTU also welcomes the extra funding for treatment and rehabilitation through the ACC scheme and the $6.6 million towards protecting workers from hazardous substances which will improve the Department of Labour's capacity to address occupational illness." "The recent NOHSAC publication estimated up to 1000 workers per year die of slow onset occupational illness."