Quickest U-turn ever? Senator ridicules economic policy on live TV – before backing down 16 seconds later after being told it’s the view of her party’s Finance Minister
- Defence Industry Minister Linda Reynolds has ridicules own party’s policy on TV
- Sky News political editor David Speers asked about low wages growth remark
- She had wrongly blamed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten for the comment
- Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had in fact hailed the benefits of flat wages
Australia’s newest cabinet minister has ridiculed her own party’s economic policy on live TV only to do a verbal U-turn just 16 seconds later.
Linda Reynolds, who was sworn in as Defence Industry Minister in early March, was asked about the notion that low wages drove jobs growth.
‘No, absolutely not,’ the Liberal senator for Western Australia told Sky News Australia on Sunday.
Australia’s newest cabinet minister Linda Reynolds (pictured) has ridiculed her own party’s economic policy on live TV only to do a verbal U-turn just 16 seconds later
‘For Bill Shorten to suggest that shows a fundamental lack of economics.’
After wrongly attributing that economic policy to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Sky News political editor David Speers pointed out Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had, in fact, made that comment hailing moderate wages growth.
‘I’m quoting Mathias Cormann, the Finance Minister here, your colleague,’ he said.
‘He says that wages flexibility is, quote, “a deliberate feature of our economic architecture”.’
After wrongly attributing that economic policy to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Sky News political editor David Speers (left) pointed out Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had made that comment about moderate wages growth
Just 16 seconds after denouncing her cabinet colleague’s defence of flat wages, Senator Reynolds abruptly agreed with Senator Cormann, who also hails from Perth.
‘He’s absolutely right,’ she said.
On Friday Senator Cormann, who earns $383,000 a year as a senior cabinet minister, argued lower wages kept unemployment low.
‘The whole point – it is important to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions – is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment, which are incredibly disruptive,’ Senator Cormann told Sky News.
On Friday Finance Minister Mathias Cormann (pictured), who earns $383,000 a year as a senior cabinet minister, argued lower wages kept unemployment low
‘This is a deliberate feature of our economic architecture.’
While Australia’s unemployment rate of five per cent is low by historical standards, wages growth has been weak.
In the year to November last year, full-time salaries rose by just 2.3 per cent to $83,500 a year, following three years of stagnation.
In February, Reserve Bank of Australia governor Philip Lowe acknowledged flat wages were a threat to economic activity.
‘It is plausible that households have responded to this extended period of weaker income growth by progressively downgrading their spending plans,’ he told a House of Representatives economics committee.