Television Interview with David Koch – Sunrise – Thursday 12 May 2022


SUBJECTS: Morrison government economic credentials; Cost of living; Wages
DAVID KOCH, HOST: Labor campaign spokesperson Jason Clare joins me now. Jason, the PM attacked Albanese’s economic credentials and his policies for being uncosted. Will that put people off voting Labor? Is that a fair criticism?

JASON CLARE, SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS: Well, the idea that this government are good economic managers, mate, is a bad joke. They’ve spent $660 million on imaginary car parks at railway stations that don’t exist. Five and a half billion dollars that’s been spent on submarines that don’t exist and $50 billion on a copper-art version of the NBN. They bought enough copper to wrap around the world one and a half times and now they’ve got to rip the copper out and put in fibre. So I wouldn’t trust this mob with a tin piggy bank.

KOCH: Well, they kept us out of recession though, didn’t they, during the greatest economic threat since the Great Depression with the pandemic? They haven’t done too bad.

CLARE: I think we went into recession Kochie, the last time I remember we went into recession. And Scott Morrison talks about how strong the economy is, I reckon a lot of people watching at home say, thinking to themselves, ‘it ain’t that strong for me, mate’. Lots of Australians are struggling to pay the bills and it didn’t just start last Tuesday when interest rates went up. This has been a decade in the making. We’ve had the lowest wage growth in the last decade in history. And the neglect in the lack of training – think about this, mate: there are fewer apprentices and trainees today than there were ten years ago when this mob was elected. So, the idea that they’ve done enough to help Australians to make ends meet is nonsense. 

KOCH: Just to clarify, we didn’t have two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth. So, we didn’t actually go into official recession, we did go into a dip. But just on this, wages growth, everyone loves a wage rise, a pay rise. Five point one per cent – you’re almost guaranteeing. Will you put that five per cent pay increase for everyone to the Fair Work Commission?

CLARE: Remember what we’re talking about here. We’re talking about the minimum wage. We’re talking about 20 bucks an hour, Aussies who are on a lot less than you and me. And if the minimum wage goes up by 5.1 per cent, you’re talking about an extra dollar an hour, people who are on $20 an hour. And Scott Morrison doesn’t support that. I don’t think it’s remarkable that the Labor Party would say that we want Aussies on the lowest incomes to make sure that they don’t go backwards, and that they get a pay rise to help to keep up with the cost of living. What’s remarkable here is that Scott Morrison doesn’t support that.

KOCH: How will that happen under Labor, though? Because Anthony Albanese has walked a bit backwards on that over the last week or two. Will you officially put that to the Fair Work Commission for adjudication? If you’re elected, would the government do that?

CLARE: The Fair Work Commission makes the decision, you’re right. What we’ve said is we would support that, if they recommend – if they order, the minimum wage be increased by 5.1 per cent.

KOCH: Will you ask them to do that? Will you present that officially as a government?

CLARE: We’ll put in a submission if we win the election, and the basis of that is that we don’t want Aussies to go backwards. Aussies have gone backwards over the last twelve months. It’s forecast that they’ll go backwards again. Kochie, I find it hard to believe that the government is arguing that people on some of the lowest wages, the lowest wage in Australia, don’t deserve a pay rise. At the same time, you’ve got Liberal politicians arguing that politicians deserve a pay rise. The only people in this country the Libs think should get a pay rise are politicians. That shows just how out of touch this mob are.

KOCH: Jason Clare, thanks for joining us.