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Living Wage in Oz? Going, Going, Gone?

Writing in the SMH on the persons appointed this last week to the so-called Fair Pay Commission, Adele Horin says of one of the appointees, Judith Sloan, a labour-market economist:

"Take the right-wing labour market economist Judith Sloan. She has condemned wage increases at the bottom because of their supposed impact on employment, and has mocked "wimpy employers and wimpy employer associations" for failing to move workers onto individual employment contracts quickly enough.

She once joked in a speech to the H.R. Nicholls Society, the conservative industrial relations club, that the difference between the IRA and the ACTU was that "you could negotiate with the IRA". And, if that didn't get a loud enough laugh, she followed up by asking the audience the difference between the ACTU and Jurassic Park: "One is a group of dinosaurs hanging around waiting to get extinct," she said, "the other is a film."

Horin makes out a compelling argument for being concerned that a decent living-wage will be something of the past in Australia now that the IR laws have become law and the appointments made to the Fair Pay Commission. Read Horin's full article here - and ponder how what Kevin Andrews and Co. have put in place is supposed to benefit all Australians.

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