OECD says WorkChoices will be all pain and no gain,  		claims Labor

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OECD says WorkChoices will be all pain and no gain, claims Labor

The ALP is claiming that an OECD report shows that the Howard Government’s IR laws will be 'all pain and no gain’.

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The ALP is claiming that an OECD report shows that the Howard Government’s IR laws will be 'all pain and no gain’.

Wayne Swan, Federal Labor Shadow Treasurer, said a newly released 2006 OECD Employment Outlook ‘significantly undermines the economic case for John Howard’s new industrial relations laws’.

Swan said Howard has ‘spent a lifetime arguing that lower wages, reduced working conditions and lowered job security will boost employment and participation’.

Three central conclusions

However, Swan said the OECD report contains three central conclusions that fundamentally undermine this view.

He said the report concludes:

  • That coordinated wage bargaining at the enterprise level ‘is found to significantly reduce unemployment’.
  • ‘No significant direct impact of the level of the minimum wage on unemployment is identified’ and that the’ minimum wage could encourage higher participation, by helping to make work pay for the low skilled.’
  • That the ‘the impact of EPL [Employment Protection Laws] and union density on unemployment are statistically insignificant’.

‘These three conclusions, reached by the OECD, are a direct assault on the economic case the Government is using to defend the WorkChoices legislation,’ Swan said.

‘It means the wage cuts, the slashed conditions, and the eroded job security of the new industrial relations laws will not reduce unemployment.’

Tax and welfare

Swan said the OECD concludes that it is the interaction of the tax and welfare system that has the most significant impact on employment growth.

‘Unfortunately, the Howard Government has consistently refused to comprehensively address the 50, 60 or 70 cent tax grabs that hit people moving from welfare to work and second income earners,’ he said.

Related

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