Media Release FIONA PHILLIPS - LABOR CANDIDATE FOR GILMORE
Twelve months ago Ann Sudmalis claimed that penalty rate cuts, which are cuts to wages, were a gift to young people.
“It’s not cutting wages, it’s opening the door for more hours of employment and in a regional area like Gilmore, with almost double the national youth unemployment, that’s a gift; that is a gift for our young people to get a foot in the door of employment,” Ann Sudmalis, Illawarra Mercury, 28/2/17.
At the time, the community expressed outrage about these comments.
According to Ann Sudmalis, the Shoalhaven had "a youth unemployment rate of nearly 20 per cent" in February 2017. This was followed by Penalty Rates being cut for some workers on 1 July. Today youth unemployment stands at 29%, which is more than double the national rate of 12.3%. [Unemployment data from Labour Market Information Portal, SA4 Regions, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven]
"Ann Sudmalis called cuts to penalty rates 'a gift'. Twelve months on penalty rate wages have been cut and youth unemployment in the Shoalhaven has skyrocketed to record levels, it's now 29%. That's a gift no-one wanted or needed”, Fiona said.
"The people in the Gilmore electorate deserve an apology. They deserve a member who is willing to fight against wage cuts, not usher them in. They deserve a member who can recognise that 'trickle down' doesn't work”, Fiona concluded.