Premier denies ‘thaw’ in pay freeze promise

 

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended her public service pay freeze amid claims from the LNP that the Government was not honest about when it would come into effect.

It came after The Courier-Mail revealed the Government had struck a deal with unions to ensure all 2019-20 pay increases, held up because of "administrative delays" caused by coronavirus, would still flow through to public servants.

Under-Treasurer Frankie Carroll yesterday told the economic committee tasked with overseeing the Government's COVID-19 response: "I understand the matters canvassed in today's media (Thursday) relates to existing arrangements for some workers including frontline health staff like orderlies, radiographers and technicians.

"We will see the freeze implemented from 1 July as I understand."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the update of COVID-19. Parliament House, George St, Brisbane, 6th of May 2020. (News Corp / Attila Csaszar)
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at the update of COVID-19. Parliament House, George St, Brisbane, 6th of May 2020. (News Corp / Attila Csaszar)

The Premier had previously claimed the pay rises would be frozen immediately after making the announcement on breakfast television on April 2.

Ms Palaszczukyesterday insisted there was a 12-month pay freeze for state public servants and said it would be implemented from "financial year to financial year".

"That's how a pay freeze operates," she said.

"I know a lot of (people) have lost their jobs. I know a lot of people are not happy about the pay freeze.

"But I am committed to the 12 month pay freeze."

When asked if she could have worded her commitment better, Ms Palaszczuk said no - instead pointing out that Prime Minister Scott Morrison was introducing a six-month pay freeze for the federal bureaucracy.

LNP treasury spokesman Tim Mander said Ms Palaszczuk's promise to freeze public service wages had now been "thawed".

"When she (the Premier) originally spoke about pay increases, it was all in the context of the current pay rises that were happening," he claimed.

"This is a Government that shows it cannot be trusted."

Originally published as Premier denies 'thaw' in pay freeze promise



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