Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has refused to guarantee that wages will lift under a Labor government — instead saying he “has a plan” to increase productivity. Mr Albanese started his Monday morning in Sydney on a high after scoring a tie with Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the second leaders’ debate.
He first visited his old school — St Mary’s Cathedral College in the seat of Sydney, which is held by Tanya Plibersek by a margin of 18.7 per cent — where the Labor leader announced a $146.5 million pledge to boost teacher shortages.
It was a welcome reception by students who bombarded Mr Albanese for selfies.
During a short press conference on the school grounds, Mr Albanese outlined steps to boost wages after failing to guarantee that he could lift them if elected on May 21.
“The truth is we have had flatlining wages over 10 years,” he said.
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“The key to lifting wages is lifting productivity. One of the things I will do is to convene a full employment summit.
“We will work with businesses and unions to enterprise bargaining but we will change the Act so secure work is an objective.
“We will make gender pay equity an objective as well. Our clear objective is to lift up living standards.”
It comes after the Labor leader promised to lift wages if he wins government to address cost-of-living pressures but during the leaders’ debate on Sunday, he doubled down despite saying the minimum wage was just $20.33.
He then deflected the blame on the Prime Minister, saying he asked him a “pretty easy” question on whether people should be paid the minimum wage.
“You know what he said, ‘It depends’,” Mr Albanese said.
“He couldn’t even say that Australian workers should be paid the minimum wage.”