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Govt budget fails to deliver for manufacturing workers: AMWU

05 May, 2016

The Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) has slammed the Turnbull Government after it failed to deliver for manufacturing workers and young people desperately seeking secure employment.

The budget's stated focus on 'jobs and growth' is betrayed by no new measures targeting investment in advanced manufacturing industries.

There are no additional measures to tackle the flood of dumped imports coming into Australia undermining Australian jobs and businesses.

There is no commitment to strategic industries like steel or new adjustment assistance for automotive workers or the auto supply chain.

The budget recognises the crisis of youth unemployment but rather than reversing the $1 billion of cuts to apprenticeship programs the Coalition has overseen since coming to power, it introduces a scheme that will see businesses paid to take on unpaid interns.

This isn't investing in our young people and giving them the hand up they deserve, it is setting them up for exploitation even before they get their first job. 

AMWU National President, Andrew Dettmer, said the budget was a slap in the face to manufacturing workers and their families.

"Young workers can expect better paid jobs in Thailand than they can as part of the Government's PaTH scheme," said Dettmer.

"There is not a single extra cent put into apprenticeship programs and pathways to the high-skilled and secure jobs of our future. Nor is there any plan for advanced manufacturing to ensure we are well positioned for economic transition," he said. 

The Turnbull government's election budget is exactly what we would expect in an election budget from a government with no real plan for jobs, growth or a diversified economy.

The budget came on the day the RBA cut interest rates to their lowest ever level, citing falling prices and a weakening economy.

Yet this contrasts sharply with a budget that talks up the economy, even as it shows years of projected falling business investment, weak wages growth and continued revenue write-downs, this time of almost $15 billion.

"The government's own numbers, as well as the RBA's actions, tell one story while the government's rhetoric in the budget tells another," Dettmer said.

"This is a budget that has a disturbing class warfare element to it, with tax cuts for the top quarter of income earners as well as large companies, but nothing for ordinary people besides empty promises disguising cuts to programs like medicare (almost $1 billion), higher education ($2 billion) and industry skills ($250 billion)."

"This budget reflects the Liberal's view that corporate tax cuts can solve all our problems. This is plainly nonsense."

"The real drivers of productivity; skills, technology, innovation, workplace trust and cooperation, these are all either ignored or given nothing more than lip service."

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