Inequality in Australia

Sally McManus speech to TJ Ryan Foundation, Brisbane

ACTU Media Release

1st September 2017

We are coming to an end of an era.

The end of the 30 years of the neo-liberal experiment.

Consensus that neoliberalism is the right approach for society has fractured, as the results of this experiment are there for everyone to see.

Working people were promised more jobs, greater wealth and better services.

Privatisation would bring greater choice, better products at cheaper prices. Instead, jobs have been outsourced, wages cut, and prices have gone up as companies extract profits from essential services.
We were promised that trickledown economics would ensure that all the wealth we hand over to the very rich will come back to us. Instead, it seems we cannot rely on the very rich to put limits on their own greed, or to share, as they have kept much of this wealth for themselves.

The era of deregulation saw protections generations of working people had fought for stripped from them. In their place we have concerted, unabashed campaigns to systematically weaken unions, which has left working people with little protections in the face of the King Kong-sized power of multinational corporations who have no heart and no sense of obligation to anything other than increased profits.

The result – record low wage growth and one in four workers in insecure work.

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