“ANZ-Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence rose strongly the week Malcolm Turnbull replaced former Prime Minister Tony Abbott via a vote of the Liberal party-room - won by Turnbull 54-44 over Abbott - up a one week record 9.2pts to 114.5.
"However, over the last two weeks Consumer Confidence has fallen back to 110.0 (down 3.5pts in a fortnight) following the initial excitement for Australians after removing an unpopular Prime Minister consumers are now turning a critical eye towards Turnbull and just what policies he will implement to strengthen the Australian economy and increase growth and employment.
"As I said yesterday in the Morgan Poll Federal voting release and also the Roy Morgan September unemployment estimate release, Turnbull’s key priority must be to dismantle the ‘cash economy’ and wage rorting that occurs throughout Australian businesses.
"The recent wage sham and payroll falsification that has led to gross under-payment of employees revealed at 7- Eleven and others is only the ‘tip of the iceberg’. There’s no doubt the Federal Government, Opposition and Unions need to immediately address the systemic under-payment of workers using both legal and illegal methods or just paying them cash.
“New Treasurer Scott Morrison’s claim that weekend penalty rates will be an election issue is misguided. The situation is much more complex. Today employers, relying on the ‘Better Off Overall Test’, are already able to reduce weekend penalty rates in collective agreements so long as the Fair Work Commission has approved such an agreement. This has happened on many occasions, and as a result, many employees have already been disadvantaged under these Fair Work Commission approved Agreements. If the Fair Work Commission does not approve an agreement to reduce penalty rates, the employer must either pay the penalty rates (eg Public Service) or may resort to paying employees lesser amounts in cash. Much has yet to surface about governance and the regulatory environment in which these crucial approval negotiations take place, the role of unions, if any, and the degree of scrutiny and oversight the negotiations and agreements are subject to.
"The negative multiplier impact of the ‘cash economy’ has not yet been quantified by the Federal Government or the Productivity Commission – but it clearly impacts on the Australian economy:
Taxes not being paid by those in the ‘cash economy’
Centrelink benefits claimed by some in the ‘cash economy’ (because they don’t declare their earnings);
Unfair competition for companies paying correct wages who can’t compete;
Companies operating in the ‘cash economy’ obviously need to ‘deal in cash’ – so company tax is lost to the Australian economy;
“The ultimate measure of the success of the Turnbull Government at next year’s Federal Election will be how much they have reduced Australia’s real unemployment and under-employment – not rely on any change in the incomplete ABS unemployment estimate. Released yesterday the latest Roy Morgan September unemployment (8.3% - 1.06 million) and under-employment (7.3% - 936,000) show there are still 1.99 million Australians (15.6%) looking for a job or looking for a new job.”