GOVERNMENT BACKS DOWN ON UNFAIR CUTS TO CLEANERS’ PAY

The Government today backed down on its plan to cut the minimum wages of Commonwealth cleaners, a victory for some of Australia’s lowest paid workers and another sign of a Government in chaos.

Labor successfully moved amendments in the Senate to undo the Government’s plan to cut the minimum rate of pay for Commonwealth cleaners from $22.02 to $17.49 per-hour, a cut of $4.53 per-hour.

Manager of Opposition Business and Shadow Finance Minister Tony Burke said he was pleased the Government had seen sense, but the move to cut cleaners’ pays should never have occurred in the first place.

“This is a win for some of Australia’s lowest paid workers,” Mr Burke said.

“This Government will never stand up for lower and middle income earners, but Labor will.

“I am pleased the Government is backing down from its plans but this should never have occurred in the first place.

“This is yet another example of a Government in chaos trying to back pedal from a budget in shambles.

“Now the Government should back down on its fuel tax, GP tax, cuts to pensions and cuts to family benefits.”

Shadow Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Brendan O’Connor said the decision to protect cleaners’ pay was a victory for some of Australia’s lowest-paid workers.

“After a farcical day in Parliament in which the Government gagged debate on its cruel decision to cut cleaners’ pay, I’m pleased Mr Abbott has reconsidered this low-blow,” Mr O’Connor said.