Migration Council chair again fights wage theft laws

Chair of the Migration Council, Innes Willox, is at it again today. Despite the Council’s stated intention to “enhance the productive benefits of Australia’s migration and humanitarian programs” he writes the following as head of Australian industry Group:

“The Migrant Workers’ Taskforce Report contains many sensible recommendations that industry can readily support. However, a number of the recommendations would have adverse consequences for the community and should not be implemented. It is important that any proposed legislative amendments are very carefully considered before implementation,” Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

“The Taskforce has sensibly recommended a number of measures aimed at ensuring that employers and employees better understand their rights and obligations. The Taskforce has also focussed on the need for increased resources for the Fair Work Ombudsman and further research into the extent, nature and causes of underpayments.

“The Taskforce’s recommendation that criminal penalties be implemented for serious and deliberate breaches of workplace laws should not be implemented. While at first glance, this might seem like a good idea, there are many reasons why this is not in anyone’s interests:

  • Penalties for breaches of industrial laws were recently increased by up to 20 times and this already provides an effective deterrent.
  • Implementing criminal penalties for wage underpayments would discourage investment, entrepreneurship and employment growth.
  • Importantly, a criminal case would not deliver any back-pay to an underpaid worker. Where a criminal case is underway, any civil case to recoup unpaid amounts would be put on hold by the Court until the criminal case is concluded. This means that underpaid workers could be waiting years for back-pay.

“The extension of the accessorial liability provisions of the Fair Work Act for businesses which contract out services is also problematic. Outsourcing is a legitimate and important way for businesses to remain competitive and to continue to employ Australian workers. The existing accessorial liability provisions already provide strong protections for workers and impose liabilities on businesses and people that are knowingly concerned in any breaches of the law by other businesses.

“The idea of a national labour hire licensing scheme for certain industries only has merit if the State labour hire licensing schemes in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are abolished. Otherwise, a national licensing scheme would simply impose an even more unreasonable cost and onerous regulatory burden on labour hire businesses and their clients.

“We welcome the Australian Government’s commitment to consult thoroughly with industry groups and other stakeholders about the Taskforce’s recommendations, and Ai Group looks forward to participating in this process,” Mr Willox said.

What drivel. Rampant wage theft is particularly targeted at migrants and it undercuts wider pays as well. Academic research finally caught up to this reality late last year. Below are key excepts from Chapter 13 entitled Temporary migrant workers (TMWs), underpayment and predatory business models, written by Iain Campbell:

This chapter argues that the expansion of temporary labour migration is a significant development in Australia and that it has implications for wage stagnation…

Three main facts about their presence in Australia are relevant to the discussion of wage stagnation. First, there are large numbers of TMWs in Australia, currently around 1.2 million persons. Second, those numbers have increased strongly over the past 15 years. Third, when employed, many TMWs are subject to exploitation, including wage payments that fall below — sometimes well below — the minimum levels specified in employment regulation…

One link to slow wages growth, as highlighted by orthodox economics, stems from the simple fact of increased numbers, which add to labour supply and thereby help to moderate wages growth. This chapter argues, however, that the more salient point concerns the way many TMWs are mistreated within the workplace in industry sectors such as food services, horticulture, construction, personal services and cleaning. TMW underpayments, which appear both widespread in these sectors and systemic, offer insights into labour market dynamics that are also relevant to the general problem of slow wages growth…

Official stock data indicate that the visa programmes for international students, temporary skilled workers and working holiday makers have tripled in numbers since the late 1990s… In all, the total number of TMWs in Australia is around 1.2 million persons. If we include New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, who can enter Australia under a special subclass 444 visa, without time limits on their stay and with unrestricted work rights (though without access to most social security payments), then the total is close to 2 million persons… TMWs now make up around 6% of the total Australian workforce…

Decisions by the federal Coalition government under John Howard to introduce easier pathways to permanent residency for temporary visa holders, especially international students and temporary skilled workers, gave a major impetus to TMW visa programmes.

Most international students and temporary skilled workers, together with many working holiday makers, see themselves as involved in a project of ‘staggered’ or ‘multi-step’ migration, whereby they hope to leap from their present status into a more long-term visa status, ideally permanent residency. One result, as temporary migration expands while the permanent stream remains effectively capped, is a lengthening queue of onshore applicants for permanent residency…

Though standard accounts describe Australian immigration as oriented to skilled labour, this characterisation stands at odds with the abundant evidence on expanding temporary migration and the character of TMW jobs. It is true that many TMWs, like their counterparts in the permanent stream, are highly qualified and in this sense skilled. However, the fact that their work is primarily in lower-skilled jobs suggests that it is more accurate, as several scholars point out, to speak of a shift in Australia towards a de facto low-skilled migration programme

A focus on raw numbers of TMWs may miss the main link to slow wages growth. It is the third point concerning underpayments and predatory business models that seems richest in implications. This point suggests, first and most obviously, added drag on wages growth in sectors where such underpayments and predatory business models have become embedded. If they become more widely practised, underpayments pull down average hourly wages. If a substantial number of firms in a specific labour market intensify strategies of labour cost minimisation by pushing wage rates below the legal floor, it can unleash a dynamic of competition around wage rates that foreshadows wage decline rather than wage growth for employees…

Increases in labour supply allow employers in sectors already oriented to flexible and low-wage employment, such as horticulture and food services, to sustain and extend strategies of labour cost minimisation… The arguments and evidence cited above suggest a spread of predatory business models within low-wage industries.37 They suggest an unfolding process of degradation in these labour markets…

And below are extracts from Chapter 14, entitled Is there a wages crisis facing skilled temporary migrants?, by Joanna Howe:

Scarcely a day goes by without another headline of wage theft involving temporary migrant workers…

In this chapter we explore a largely untold story in relation to temporary migrant workers… it exposes a very real wages crisis facing workers on the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (formerly the 457 visa) in Australia. This crisis has been precipitated by the federal government’s decision to freeze the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers since 2013… the government has chosen to put downward pressure on real wages for temporary skilled migrants, thereby surreptitiously allowing the TSS visa to be used in lower-paid jobs…

In Australia, these workers are employed via the TSS visa and they must be paid no less than a salary floor. This salary floor is called the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT). TSMIT was introduced in 2009 in response to widespread concerns during the Howard Government years of migrant worker exploitation. This protection was considered important because an independent review found that many 457 visa workers were not receiving wages equivalent to those received by Australian workers…

In effect, TSMIT is intended to act as a proxy for the skill level of a particular occupation. It prevents unscrupulous employers misclassifying an occupation at a higher skill level in order to employ a TSS visa holder at a lower level…

TSMIT’s protective ability is only as strong as the level at which it is set. In its original iteration back in 2009, it was set at A$45 220. This level was determined by reference to average weekly earnings for Australians, with the intention that TSMIT would be pegged to this because the Australian government considered it ‘important that TSMIT keep pace with wage growth across the Australian labour market’. This indexation occurred like clockwork for five years. But since 1 July 2013, TSMIT has been frozen at a level of A$53 900. ..

There is now a gap of more than A$26 000 between the salary floor for temporary skilled migrant workers and annual average salaries for Australian workers. This means that the TSS visa can increasingly be used to employ temporary migrant workers in occupations that attract a far lower salary than that earned by the average Australian worker. This begs the question — is the erosion of TSMIT allowing the TSS visa to morph into a general labour supply visa rather than a visa restricted to filling labour market gaps in skilled, high-wage occupations?..

But why would employers go to all the effort of hiring a temporary migrant worker on a TSS visa over an Australian worker?

Renowned Australian demographer Graeme Hugo observed that employers ‘will always have a “demand” for foreign workers if it results in a lowering of their costs’.  The simplistic notion that employers will only go to the trouble and expense of making a TSS visa application when they want to meet a skill shortage skims over a range of motives an employer may have for using the TSS visa. These could be a reluctance to invest in training for existing or prospective staff, or a desire to move towards a deunionised workforce. Additionally, for some employers, there could be a belief that, despite the requirement that TSS visa workers be employed on equivalent terms to locals, it is easier to avoid paying market salary rates and conditions for temporary migrant workers who have been recognised as being in a vulnerable labour market position. A recent example of this is the massive underpayments of chefs and cooks employed by Australia’s largest high-end restaurant business, Rockpool Dining Group, which found that visa holders were being paid at levels just above TSMIT but well below the award when taking into account the amount of overtime being done…

Put simply, temporary demand for migrant workers often creates a permanent need for them in the labour market. Research shows that in industries where employers have turned to temporary migrants en masse, it erodes wages and conditions in these industries over time, making them less attractive to locals…

A national survey of temporary migrant workers found that 24% of 457 visa holders who responded to the survey were paid less than A$18 an hour.  Not only are these workers not being paid in according with TSMIT, but they are also receiving less than the minimum wage. A number of cases also expose creative attempts by employers to subvert TSMIT. Given the challenges many temporary migrants face in accessing legal remedies, these cases are likely only scratching the surface in terms of employer non-compliance with TSMIT…

Combined, then, with the problems with enforcement and compliance, it is not hard to conclude that the failure to index TSMIT is contributing to a wages crisis for skilled temporary migrant workers… So the failure to index the salary floor for skilled migrant workers is likely to affect wages growth for these workers, as well as to have broader implications for all workers in the Australian labour market.

The micro-economic evidence has been overwhelming for years:

  • For years we have seen Dominos, Caltex, 7-Eleven, Woolworths and many other fast food franchises busted for rorting migrant labour.
  • The issue culminated in 2016 when the Senate Education and Employment References Committee released a scathing report entitled A National Disgrace: The Exploitation of Temporary Work Visa Holders, which documented systemic abuses of Australia’s temporary visa system for foreign workers.
  • Mid last year, ABC’s 7.30 Report ran a disturbing expose on the modern day slavery occurring across Australia.
  • Meanwhile, Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO), Natalie James, told Fairfax in August last year that people on visas continue to be exploited at an alarming rate, particularly those with limited English-language skills. It was also revealed that foreign workers are involved in more than three-quarters of legal cases initiated by the FWO against unscrupulous employers.
  • Then The ABC reported that Australia’s horticulture industry is at the centre of yet another migrant slave scandal, according to an Australian Parliamentary Inquiry into the issue.
  • The same Parliamentary Inquiry was told by an undercover Malaysian journalist that foreign workers in Victoria were “brainwashed” and trapped in debt to keep them on farms.
  • A recent UNSW Sydney and UTS survey painted the most damning picture of all, reporting that wages theft is endemic among international students, backpackers and other temporary migrants.
  • A few months ago, Fair Work warned that most of Western Sydney had become a virtual special economic zone in which two-thirds of businesses were underpaying workers, with the worst offenders being high-migrant areas.
  • Dr Bob Birrell from the Australian Population Research Institute latest report, based on 2016 Census data, revealed that most recently arrived skilled migrants (i.e. arrived between 2011 and 2016) cannot find professional jobs, with only 24% of skilled migrants from Non-English-Speaking-Countries (who comprise 84% of the total skilled migrant intake) employed as professionals as of 2016, compared with 50% of skilled migrants from Main English-Speaking-Countries and 58% of the same aged Australian-born graduates. These results accord with a recent survey from the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre, which found that 53% of skilled migrants in Western Australia said they are working in lower skilled jobs than before they arrived, with underemployment also rife.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) latest Characteristics of Recent Migrants reportrevealed that migrants have generally worse labour market outcomes than the Australian born population, with recent migrants and temporary residents having an unemployment rate of 7.4% versus 5.4% for the Australian born population, and lower labour force participation (69.8%) than the Australian born population (70.2%).
  • ABC Radio recently highlighted the absurdity of Australia’s ‘skilled’ migration program in which skilled migrants have grown increasingly frustrated at not being able to gain work in Australia despite leaving their homelands to fill so-called ‘skills shortages’. As a result, they are now demanding that taxpayers provide government-sponsored internships to help skilled migrants gain local experience, and a chance to work in their chosen field.
  • In early 2018 the senate launched the”The operation and effectiveness of the Franchising Code of Conduct” owing in part to systematic abuse of migrant labour.
  • Then there is new research from the University of Sydney documenting the complete corruption of the temporary visas system, and arguing that Australia running a “de-facto low-skilled immigration policy” (also discussed here at the ABC).
  • In late June the government released new laws to combat modern slavery which, bizarrely, imposed zero punishment for enslaving coolies.
  • Over the past few months we’ve witnessed widespread visa rorting across cafes and restaurants, including among high end establishments like the Rockpool Group.
  • Alan Fels, head of the Migrant Workers Taskforce, revealed that international students are systematically exploited particularly by bosses of the same ethnicity.

No fair dinkum migration lobby could resist declaring this illegal and prosecuting it vigorously.

Comments

  1. Macrobusiness is on the right track here.

    Below is some data & links as an update on the migrant guestworker numbers and their impact to Australian wages & employment.

    And then the suggested action to resolve the impacts and issues.
    -/-
    🔹In March 2018 we had 2.431 million Migrant Guestworkers onshore.
    Fact check.
    https://www.vsure.com.au/many-temporary-residents-working-australia/

    The DHA links are at the bottom of the Vsure link.
    The DHA tables from March 2018-December 2019 Yearly growth was 5.7% across all visa categories based on thise DHA quarterly updates.
    The DHA numbers lag, but the next DHA full update in June 2019 will confirm the numbers.

    That is 130,000 extra TR migrant guestworkers in the last year.
    Getting close to the entire PR intake of 190,000.

    🔹 The March 1st 2019 (current) estimate is : 2,561 million Migrant Guestworkers.
    On trend, it will be 2.6 million by July 2019 in 3 months.

    Concentration. (ABS / DHA / AustraliaEducation snapshots correlation) – 92% Syd/Melb concentration).

    🔻Sydney 1.3 million or 1 in 4 people is a non resident a migrant guestworker.
    🔻Melbourne 1.0 million, or 1 in 5 people is a non resident migrant guestworker.
    🔻And 250,000 elsewhere, mostly other state capitals.

    Australian Wages impact.

    1.4 million non resident migrants are on some form of visa pretext / working illegally. A ‘pretext visa’ being an alibi to enter and have limited or full work rights that would not be normal in any other OECD and most third world countries – foreign students, so called skilled & sponsored, non NZ born SCV, so called partner secondary visas, so called regional & rural visas or working holiday visas with extensive fraud, bridging and protection visas etc – and where if their work rights were withdrawn or their visa conditions of entry were actually enforced….that migrant guestworker would not be here.
    That has been posted before in some detail by each visa category. It’s at least 1.4 million on some form of visa pretext and/or working illegally.

    The vast majority of the non resident migrant guestworkers are of third world origin, adult & unskilled. (DHA tables of origin & visa category at bottom of the Vsure link).

    They have very high rates of work participation – but many work illegally as well legally due to their visa categories & conditions if entry or COE.

    The vast majority on extensive evidence, plus their DHA listed country of origin & visa category indicates they are poor to very poor, often in debt to a foreign agent procurer.
    They are also the major source onshore in remittances to their families in their country of origin.
    (World Bank & Western Union / ‘explosion in Australian personal xfer / foreign remittances from $4b to $18b’)

    Many have fake ID, multiple jobs, work in the cash economy, or ABN / labor rings with no tax paid.

    🔹TR migrant guestworker income.
    The Treasury estimate is migrant TR yearly earnings of $43.7 each or $24 hour.
    And that’s generous.
    There is much media evidence & exposure that it is closer to $15 or $10 an hour – offset by extreme hours & multiple jobs.
    As one example: the foreign students & partners across a number of visa categories.
    The total declared funds of all TR yearly is $4.2 billion (DHA). The foreign students (non self declared) are $2.8 billion of this. However this is extensively frauded.
    The 672,000 foreign students & partners do form a $29 billion onshore sub economy of economic activity (@$43.7 each average income) but almost all that money was earned here onshore & 75% illegally fake ID or cash in hand.
    So our foreign student industry is NOT an Export industry at all.
    The attending primary students only pay $8.2 billion in fees (Deloitte) which is less than 505,000 jobs they steal costing some $9.2 billion in Centrelink.
    So on any measure, even the foreign student industry is immediately negative and a cost burden import to Australians.

    And it’s the same in the other visa categories.

    On balance the 2.5 million migrant guestworkers, who are mostly adult working age & unskilled, highly motivated to work legally & illegally / displace at least 2 million Australian jobs.

    As we see in our unemployment statistics.

    They massively lower Australian wages.
    The average Australian wage ABS May 26th 2017 full-time male weekly earnings $1,631 / females $1388 weekly..
    Or 50/50 gender = $1,500 or $78,000 or $43 a hour.
    So even using the much higher treasury migrant guestworker wage estimate (perhaps the cash rate of $15 -20 hour being a gross rate of $24 hour if they were actually to pay tax) the migrant guestworkers are working at $24 an hour, or half the rate of the $48 Australian average.
    12.7 million (ABS seasonally adjusted Workers Dec 2018) + the migrant guestworkers illegal black economy the ABS has no stats for is 14.1 million.

    12 million at $48 hour & 2.1 million of the 2.5 million migrant guestworkers working at $24 a hour in a full time equivalent week (one or multiple jobs)

    ➡️ That gives an Australian wages loss or degradation of 6.8% or more.

    Which means every migrant guestworker costs every Australian ($1,500 a week average) at least $102 a week or $5,300 a year lost income.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg in impact.

    Many migrant guestworkers are working illegally, Fake ID, cash, labor rings so they aren’t paying tax, but they are creating massive cost impacts on public services, transport, education & infrastructure projects – so that is an extra tax burden on Australians subsidising the migrant guestworkers.

    The migrant guestworkers create Australia unemployment.

    We have 1.3 million Australian/PR unemployed (Roy Morgan feb 2019) & lets say half are totally unemployable, but the other half genuinely can’t get a legal job because migrant guestworkers are being hired instead.
    So that’s at least 750,000 Australian/ PR at $18k centrelink / support a year each – costing the Australian taxpayer $13.4 billion or $1,100 per Australian taxpayer.

    We then have another 1.1 million Australians seeking work. No direct taxation outlay impact, but let’s say it’s only part time work at the same rate of $43.7k as the migrant guestworkers.

    That’s $48 billion of lost wages earnings & another 18% tax loss of $9 billion on that potential income & again lowering our GDP per Capita.

    Then add on 116,000 Australian permanent homeless and another 360,000 on housing assistance displaced by the migrant influx – that directly costs us $4.8 billion a year (DHS) – that’s another $400 each taxpayer cost.

    Then add on housing contention (rent or mortgage debt) cost of living impacts – another $3,000 at least of direct tangible costs yearly.

    Then add on degraded our education with exploding costs as the education industry was allowed to sell itself as a migrant guestworker visa alibi – at say a modest $2-3,000 per averaged worker yearly.

    Then add on congestion, contention and overload of services, hospitals, environment, ‘water levies’ tolls etc as the cities population explodes way beyond projectors capacity – $2,000 a year each.

    And it quickly gets to the view that each and every migrant guestworker is costing something like $5,000 a year lost wages growth / income ($60.5 billion) over $20 billion in lost taxation as much of this is at the top rate… plus other taxation loss in the people seeking work but displaced by the migrant guestworkers.
    Plus an added cost of living of some $6,000 each as well..

    ➡️🔻So $11k negative to each Australian worker.🔻
    That’s a very conservative estimate.

    -/-
    If we exited the 1.4 million migrant guestworkers who are working & living illegally..

    And if we controlled the remaining 1.1 million to be either be no work rights at all, or genuine high quality skilled & high income earners..

    Then the average Australian Workers would be $11k or 14% better off.

    That would ‘catch up’ nearly a decade of gdp per Capita, wages and productivity decline.

    Our government wages tax inputs would be much higher, our outlays would be far less – justifying a reduction in taxation rates.

    The cost of living would fall.
    Large white elephant ‘infrastructure projects’ costing tens of billions would not be needed.

    ▪️The Net Benefit:
    ▫️A Higher Australian Employment rate,
    ▫️A higher gdp per capita – particularly as most of our economy is based on fixed commodity exports divided by the number of people here. Less people, higher average GDP per Capita.
    ▫️Less taxation,
    ▫️Lower cost of living,
    ▫️Better housing affordability,
    ▫️Better & more affordable education,
    ▫️Less congested trains & buses.
    ▫️Over 500,000 cars / international licence drivers taken off the city roads,
    ▫️A more sustainable use of our infrastructure & environment
    ▫️And a far better standard of living for all Australians and our new PR. (Who we are stuck with btw)

    Why isn’t this mainstream political party policy?
    Both major parties are beholden to vested interest and lobbyists in continuing the migrant trafficking trade.
    Neither will act or will just act in token gestures (457, backpacker tax, boat people etc) to distract or marginalize any action & continue the non resident migrant intake – eg the recent Indonesian FTA.

    -/-

    The answer is to take this above the party political level.
    The Australian people need to take control of our migration intake via a Royal Commission.
    That authority would be controlled by a ‘people’s representative body’ that determines our migrant intake settings and policy as well as visa enforcement.

    Then by the simple & legal enforcement of visa control & conditions of entry, Australia needs to exit at least 1.4 million non resident TR Migrant Guestworkers that should never have been allowed in Australia.

  2. Innes Willox (Anus Bollox) is our very own Kurtz sailing into Australia’s own Heart of Darkness; a place now built upon the exploitation of people and lies that we tell ourselves to feel better. There he stands on the industry poop deck, dressing up the worst of greed and inhumanity as if it were something noble and sensible.

    This ex-Fairfax journalist and Scottish immigrant, quickly turned trickle-down spin-doctor for Alexander Downer after privatising everything that moved under the Kennett government. He once sold the media spin for closing down of schools, the slash and burn austerity and privatisation of energy and utilities.

    How’d that go Mr Willox? Still on your CV mate?

    Truth is, there have always been people like Innes. With the brass to dress himself up as a noble supporter of the plantation manager, concerned only for the welfare of the slaves mind you – for a kick back or two or maybe a titular title from the King. Alexander Downer got Bollox made an hon. consular official in LA – that went on Anus’ CV. Anus Bollox, King of LA for a Day.

    And some of Mr Bollox’s mates wrote him up as a hero to help his career in heavy weight bullshit along. Read this when you need to purge your system:

    https://www.afr.com/news/innes-willoxs-journey-from-bloodsoaked-melbourne-to-business-advocate-20170202-gu3s71

    For clearly the author just woke up one morning and decided to lionise old Mr Bollox?

    There is truly none lower that a shrill and spin doctor for the big end of town who champions exploitation. And the justification has always been the same. For without slaves how can the cotton industry survive? It’s simple economics delivered with earnest concern. And without cotton, how would the slaves live? For the cotton industry provides them with opportunity and the type of dignity that Innes believes they deserve.

    The simple reality is that Innes got his job because it suites the temperament of a failed journalist with a black heart and a toupee. The toupee is a rich metaphor for his love of covering up the bald ambition and concealing naked greed. What Innes presents to the world is strategic – and only ever strategic. He says the kind of things that his rich masters can’t be caught saying. He distorts the truth in a way that does not tarnish the beneficiary. Innes likes the taste of shoe polish and crumbs from the giant’s table.

    In short, Innes Willox is the sine qua non of everything corrupt about industry lobby groups who work for those who travel in the revolving door between parliament and industry. He is the ex-journalist riding the fake news gravy train to the detriment of everyone else – especially real journalists.

    • Good post Clive.

      I had no idea that Angus was the propaganda peddler for psychopaths who privatised the public school land in Coburg.

      Not that the fake left wing reserved any land in Coburg for a school oval after winning the 1999 state election.

      • Jacob – That’s right. Innes was up to his Bollox in such things, manufacturing the neoliberal song sheet as press releases for the media peanut gallery.

        But today he needs to explain why he helped close those schools that could presently be crammed with kids shipped in and put in flammable dog boxes. Seems like he missed an opportunity. He must kick himself!

        And if you’d like to read how the Kennett government sucked the life out of rural Victoria and began the stampede to Melbourne and the conversion of liveability to a fire sale of amenity, it’s right here:

        https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08111140108727885?needAccess=true&journalCode=cupr20

        You know all about the privatisation of electricity, gas and water that worked so well and brought costs down – as promised.

        Kennett, who now says we should be proud of what Melbourne became, started the rot that was continued by his mate Robert ‘The Octopus’ Doyle. Kennett gave a glowing reference to this man of good character; just like Abbott and Howard’s enthusiasm for Convict Pell (prisoner number 666).

        The bottom line is that the scum that ran this mass immigration scam hide in plain sight and run together. But poor old Bollox is one of the players who never quite impressed the Krogers of Melbourne enough, maybe because he went to Melbourne High and not one of the approved training grounds for true rulers.

        Innes just gets the crumbs and licks of shoe polish, as the real blue bloods know that he’s only butler material. Innes knows that as well and that makes him try harder. He’s just thankful that they allowed him to join the Albert Park Golf Club. Because a Scotsman with a toupee needs a golf course when he can’t hit a navvy with a stick.

      • haroldusMEMBER

        Because a Scotsman with a toupee needs a golf course when he can’t hit a navvy with a stick.

        I’ve always said this.

  3. discourage investment, entrepreneurship and employment

    Easy fix. Have jail for wage theft if the victim is a foreigner – and not if the victim is an Aussie. That will encourage psychopathic bosses to hire Aussies instead of foreigners.

    The idea of a national labour hire licensing scheme for certain industries only has merit if the State labour hire licensing schemes in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia are abolished.

    We have seen the disastrous consequences of centralising power away from the states. If right wing pricks are calling for a centralisation of power in yet another area (labour hire licensing), it is prudent to do the opposite.

    Having the same minimum wage across AUS is madness. Of course the minimum wage in postcode 2000 should be a lot higher than the minimum wage in rural Tasmania. Do the opposite of what right wing pricks did – go back to the system of state-based minimum wage laws.

    The GST was implemented by RWP who want luxury items to be taxed at the same rate as essential items. Moreover, no tenant pays land tax but tenants pay GST on stuff purchased at the supermarket. So instead of calling for land tax to be increased, the RWP have been calling for the GST to be increased. Do the opposite. Put in a mansion tax like New York state has done.

    • Good thinking. At the moment all you have to do is opposite of what the stuck pigs squeal for.

      • But even in the 1860s, right wing pricks literally had a civil war to keep slavery going.

  4. – We should fire Mr. Willox as well and hire a migrant worker to replace him. That way the migration council can save A LOT OF money (think: lower wage(s)) as well.

  5. We could improve this country overnight by taking about a hundred people out behind the woodshed.
    Anus Bollox
    The Rodent
    Trigoscum
    Gerry
    Abbot
    Murdoch
    etc
    etc