‘New IR policy means old WorkChoices’: Evans

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‘New IR policy means old WorkChoices’: Evans

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s statement that the Coalition is working on a new IR policy for the next federal election has brought the expected claim from the Federal Government that the policy will be a return to WorkChoices.

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Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s statement that the Coalition is working on a new IR policy for the next federal election has brought the expected claim from the Federal Government that the policy will be a return to WorkChoices.
 
Hockey said it would be ridiculous for the Opposition to do nothing about an IR policy for three years, and seemed to hedge his bets on Leader Tony Abbott’s guarantee that there would be no changes to the Fair Work laws for the first term of Coalition government.
 
He said in a Sky TV interview that Abbott’s guarantee was policy ‘as of today’.
 
Areas of concern
 
Hockey also said the Fair Work system was hurting productivity, and nominated unfair dismissal laws for small business, modern awards and minimum shift laws as areas of concern for the Opposition.
 
IR Minister Chris Evans said Hockey was ‘leading the Liberal Party’s charge to return to the failed policies of WorkChoices’.
 
‘Joe Hockey has made it crystal clear in an interview yesterday on Sky News’s Australian Agenda program that the Coalition has opened the door to bring back the failed policies of WorkChoices, which include stripping away minimum conditions of employment and unfair dismissal laws,’ he said.
 
Evans said Hockey had confirmed that the Liberal Party are committed to bring back WorkChoices Mark II at the next election.
 
He said Hockey also singled out unfair dismissal laws as something working Australians can expect to lose under the Liberal Party.
 
Small business ‘anxious’
 
In the interview, Hockey said unfair dismissal laws for small business are complex and he thought small business ‘is growing increasingly anxious about it’.
 
Evans said a return to any form of WorkChoices can only mean a loss of working conditions, cuts in take-home pay and greater job insecurity.
 
‘The Australian people clearly rejected WorkChoices but the Liberal Party remains steadfast in its commitment to raise WorkChoices from the grave,’ he said.
 
‘Tony Abbott should today come clean with the Australian public and declare whether he backs his shadow Treasurer’s plan to return to the very worst elements of WorkChoices.’
 
‘WorkChoices always was and always will be at the heart of the Liberal Party’s industrial relations agenda.’
 
Political smokescreen
 
‘Joe Hockey attempt to misrepresent and undermine the Fair Work Act by claiming there is evidence that it is not working is a blatant political smokescreen to pave the way for a return to WorkChoices.’
 
‘It is ludicrous to suggest there are substantive issues with the FWA. All major indicators show the FWA is simpler, fairer and less expensive.’
 
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