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'Secret' Treasury analysis confirms true IR agenda

"Secret advice to government on the impact of the IR 'reforms' confirms that the Government's real agenda was always about lowering wages, and their claims about boosting productivity were spurious," says Senator Siewert.

"These laws were always about reducing wages and attacking unions."

The Government derided academics and those opposing these laws for criticising its productivity claims and saying the minimum wage would drop - but the Treasury advice confirms both points.

The analysis provided by Treasury is consistent with the evidence from the Western Australian experience, where similar but less extreme changes led to a lowering of the minimum wage without increasing productivity.

On top of this news is the report released by the St Vincent de Paul Society today which points to growing inequality and increased costs burden on the poor as basic goods and services for the poor have risen 30% above inflation. The analysis of the impacts of IR reforms on the minimum wage and productivity suggests tight times ahead for the working poor.

"All this at a time when we have $11.5 billion surplus - it is neither a fair or just community if our economic 'progress' comes at the expense of the most vulnerable in our community," said Senator Siewert.

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