Questions the Premier must answer

19 May 2023

Opposition Leader Mark Speakman has called on Premier Chris Minns to immediately make clear what his proposed public sector wage rise will cost the people of NSW.

“Before the election Mr Minns said that he would negotiate wage deals with each sector individually, meaning the people of NSW were in the dark about the potential cost and impact of his deal to win union support; today we’re still in the dark,” Mr Speakman said.

“Within the first couple of months of the new Labor government, we’re seeing nurses and ambulance workers walk off the job because the Premier hasn’t kept his word. The people of NSW shouldn’t suffer because of the Premier’s broken promise.”

“The Premier needs to come clean and answer the following questions:

1. When will the government remove the wages cap?

2. When will he sit down with the unions to discuss their demands?

3. What is the figure of the pay rise he says is being developed, how much will it cost, and what programs and projects will need to be cut to pay for it?”

“Prior to the election, the Parliamentary Budget Office found that costs would increase by $2.6 billion over three years if public sector wages rose by 1% above the cap. Reports today suggest that unions are demanding a 6.5% increase in the next year, putting major pressure on the Budget.

“We know that removing the cap removes Budget certainty, we know that we’re looking at billions in uncosted additional spending, and we know that the PBO has said Labor’s plans to offset additional costs through productivity gains have proven difficult in practice,” Mr Speakman said.

“This means the people of NSW will continue to face cuts to cost-of-living programs, such as the Active Kids vouchers, and cuts to key infrastructure projects so that Labor can meet the unions’ demands.”

“We have a government that is completely silent on this unfolding crisis with a Premier who can’t tell us his government’s priorities, all while the health and wellbeing of the people of NSW are put at risk. It’s time for the Premier to honour his word and sort this mess out,” Mr Speakman concluded.

Related Articles: #Cronulla