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We Are Union Journal
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Victorian State Budget: A solid budget. With some caveats.

State Budget.png

The Victorian State Budget, in contrast to the one handed down in Canberra, is focused squarely on new job creation and delivering services to our community. But the flipside is  a cap on public sector wage increases.

First, the good stuff. The unprecedented investment to dramatically transform our mental health system is to be applauded – delivering services where they are needed and creating thousands of jobs in the process.

There are job creation initiatives that are targeted towards those most impacted by the pandemic - women, Victorians from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people in regional areas, as well as new jobs in large-scale manufacturing and construction projects.

The Victorian Government is stepping in where the Federal Government has failed by providing $9.5 million to help workers recover stolen wages faster. In addition, in an Australian first, it has set aside $5 million to support gig economy workers after announcing it will adopt all recommendations of the inquiry into on-demand work in Victoria.

For too long, gig workers have been a second-class of worker in this country… we are pleased that the Victorian Government has stepped up,
— VTHC Assistant Secretary Wil Stracke

“For too long, gig workers have been a second-class of worker in this country, and that needs to change. In the absence of national leadership, we are pleased that the Victorian Government has stepped up,” said Trades Hall Assistant Secretary Wil Stracke.

However, the Victorian Government has also chosen to cap public sector wage increases. That’s a bad decision. The Government needs to recognise the dedication and commitment of public sector workers who carried Victoria through the pandemic last year.

The CPSU said it was particularly unimpressed to hear “LNP back office rhetoric” from the Labor Government; language that implies there are two classes of public sector employees, and services aren't affected if you only cut those that support the service deliverers.

You look a bit stupid holding the hose if there’s no one to turn the tap on.
— CPSU Secretary Karen Batt

Workers having more money in their back pocket is the best way to generate economic activity, assisting a more rapid recovery from this pandemic. That’s something all governments would do well to remember.

The Victorian State Budget, in contrast to the one handed down in Canberra, is focused squarely on new job creation and delivering services to our community. But the flipside is a cap on public sector wage increases.

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