STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS - PENALTY RATES

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:45): This morning, the Prime Minister had the opportunity to stand up for low-paid workers. He failed the test. He failed the 42,000 workers in retail, in hospital and in food in my electorate and over 70,000 workers around the country who rely on penalty rates for their take-home pay. In this place we call them penalty rates, but the people who earn them just call it money in their pocket—money to pay for their groceries, money to pay for their food, money to pay for their power, money to put petrol in their car, money to pay for their kids' school shoes et cetera. This is what it means to these workers.

Every day in government is an opportunity to make choices and priorities. It is an opportunity for us to say who we are. This morning the Prime Minister said that he was on the side of big business, championing the $50 billion worth of tax cuts, instead of being on the side of the people who are earning $670 a week. Turnbull said this morning that he knew that it was going to hurt those people.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Whitlam will refer to members by their correct title, thank you.

Mr STEPHEN JONES: The Prime Minister said that knew that this decision was going to hurt workers. But what is he going to do about it? It is time for him to get behind the Labor bill, because, if you know that you are doing something that is going to hurt, it is your obligation to do something to fix it.

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