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On the down Lowe: it's workers who will experience the real penalties

4 0 1
14.06.2018

Here are two oppositional forces at work: the governor of the Reserve Bank Philip Lowe with a reprise of the song he has been singing since last year; and the latest round of cut to penalty rates which begins on July 1.

What's he singing?

But come Sunday fortnight, there will be another cut to penalty rates.

He's singing Pink Floyd's Leave Those Kids Alone, an anthem about alienation. Not exactly. He is a bit too reserved (ahem) for that. But the themes are more or less the same. We need higher wage growth for a happier Australia (yeah, I'm paraphrasing but only a little).

Lowe is a bloke with a renowned moral compass – someone who always tries to do the right thing. But his campaign on stronger wage growth is not, at face value, about what is right morally. It is about how we can keep the economy growing. The more we earn, the more we have to spend. Same as it always was.

Yet bigger wage growth also may have another benefit - it might be, indirectly, about how we can have a more harmonious society. We have seen what happens in both the UK and the US when inequality skyrockets. Perhaps Lowe is warning of what is to come. He is telling businesses we want a society where everyone can have a fair share otherwise we will have the chaos of elsewhere.

On Wednesday, he spoke at an Australian Industry Group event and said that the........

© Canberra Times