Scott Hargreaves Discusses The Worker Shortage Crisis On Credlin

Written by:
27 April 2023
Scott Hargreaves Discusses The Worker Shortage Crisis On Credlin - Featured image

On April 26, IPA Executive Director Scott Hargreaves discussed Australia’s worker shortage crisis and the increase of Immigration on Credlin.

Below is a transcript of the interview.


Peta Credlin:

All right, busy day. Let’s just jump straight into it. Now, joining me the Daily Telegraph’s National Editor, National Affairs Editor, of course, Sky News hosted the US Report and Outsiders as well. James Morrow and Scott Hargreaves, executive director at the Institute of Public Affairs. Gentlemen, welcome. We just saw there, James, the Quad on the 24th of May. It will be interesting his first time we’ve had the court in Australia. It comes at a time of course, when Joe Biden has now confirmed, God forbid, he’s running again. Do we expect him to make a speech to the federal Parliament? That’s certainly been a feature of US presidents in the past. What do we know?

James Morrow:

Well we don’t know much about what exactly the plan is going to be, Peta. I suspect though that if we go by his recent trip to Ireland, you know that 4, 5, 6 day family extravaganza that he had over there on the Emerald Isle that he is going to make a speech to Parliament. That would be a very traditional thing to do. The big question though, I think is is he going to do a traditional bilateral press conference with the Australian Prime Minister. Now, this is a very important question because he didn’t do one in Ireland and it has been months and months and months since he has taken questions from the press in an uncontrolled formal news conference setting. I think that is the thing we really want to watch because that is going to be very much setting the tone for how he’s going to campaign for president. Will he talk to the press or not?

Peta Credlin:

Spot on? I suspect if he doesn’t do the Canberra side league, we won’t get the press conference because the quad will have a very stage-managed communique and possibly not even questions from the floor. That’s been my experience of these things in the past, but good point. We’ll watch that closely.

But, Scott, this backbench revolt amongst labor now joining with some of the greens to increase the doll, David Pocock priced the blood price freeze vote was last year to establish this committee. It reported back so the doll’s got to go up by 40%, so just under a thousand dollars a fortnight, 24 billion over the Ford estimates alone, and I made this point before. We’ve got almost a million Australians on the doll, but almost as many jobs going begging. Now, surely the last thing we need is more reasons for people to stay on welfare as a permanent source of income rather than what it was always designed to be and just only a safety net. What do you think?

Scott Hargreaves:

Oh, you’re so right Peta. There’s no doubt that the best form of welfare is a job and what we see around Australia is businesses are screaming out for workers. There are hundreds of thousands of vacancies in the system and what we should be looking at, what this review should have been looking at is ways that we could get long-term unemployed pensioners, veterans back into the workforce. Those who were being kept out at the moment because of all the crazy red tape around the welfare system, around the taxation system. That should have been the focus of this review. It’s a real missed opportunity, I think. Peta.

Peta Credlin:

Let’s stay with the budget, James. I discussed this one briefly at the top of the show. More pressure on the PM and treasurer to reverse decision by Julia Gillard and increase the single parent payment. Now, I supported this decision at the time. Gillard had the view that once your kids go to school, taxpayers shouldn’t be giving you an extra loading on top of all the other welfare because they’re also paying for your kids to be in school as well, so I don’t think it should change, but where do you think the PM’ll land here?

James Morrow:

Oh, look, I think there may be a modest increase in that, but I think you’re right though that the big bigger focus is going to be on spraying money around where he can into various things that come under the rubric of cost of living increases. There’s also a huge amount of pressure right now on the whole stage three tax cuts and particularly that whole idea of knocking down the 37% tax rate. It would raise very little money, but it’s a very symbolic thing for a lot of people on the left. This is a real test for Jim Chalmers really is to what degree is there any reform left in the Labor Party and to what degree are they simply transactional and socialist and wanting to just simply redistribute money from higher earners to lower earners and call that reform?

Peta Credlin:

Yeah, particularly when the poor oil taxpayers are doing it so tough. Well, let’s get serious just on that too. The ABC, they’ve got their pay deal for staff. The ABC, of course, that taxpayers spend a billion dollars a year paying for network that nobody watches. 11% pay rise today, Scott, and a $1,500 bonus from everyone who signs off on the deal. That’s not fair, surely.

Scott Hargreaves:

No, it’s not Peta, and the timing’s incredible. It was only a week or so ago that we saw that the ABC management at Ultimo and Southbank was having crisis meetings because of what was happening to the ratings watching them tank, but here we are. That doesn’t matter. There’s no enterprise agreement about giving a product that Australians want to see. All that actually demands productivity of the workers. It’s let’s vote ourselves a pay rise and don’t worry the taxpayer will take care of it. It’s not fair, but this is how out of touch the ABC is how out of touch the ABC management and employees are.

Peta Credlin:

11% is extraordinary. Just remember inflation number out today is 7%. Or at a week on from that damning IBAC Operation Daintree report in Victoria. This is the anti-corruption watchdog, which of course found evidence of misconduct and improper influence, the highest levels of the Andrews governing Victoria.

Today, the Ombudsman, Deborah Glass, she slammed Daniel Andrews for dismissing the report. Now you recall the premier at the time tried to play it all down James. He said that this was just an educational exercise, this report for his government here is the Ombudsman on Melbourne Radio today.

Deborah Glass:

I think it says a lot about the premier’s views on corruption and integrity. It was not an educational report, it was a damning report.

James Morrow:

She did not-

Peta Credlin:

Of course, James, this is just one of at least five reports involving the premier.

James Morrow:

And she did not miss there. I went and read the whole transcript of that interview before we came on. It is absolutely damning. Dan Andrews should be really ashamed of himself for trying to deny the contents of these reports and just played them off, as he said, an educational exercise.

And the point was made in that interview that the Victorian standards around what actually constitutes corrupt behavior is very, very, very high legally to cross and therefore things that people might think of as crossing that threshold. Don’t legally cross it, even though if in their minds and a common man of the [inaudible 00:06:53] test would say, that does really have a whiff about it. I just think Dan Andrews should be absolutely ashamed of himself and I just don’t know, but I’ve been saying this to you for years, Peta. I just don’t know how he’s tolerated in office in that state.

Peta Credlin:

I got no answers for you, mate. I’m sorry, I had to say. Electoral commission report today, Scott. I went through this in detail at the top of the show. I want people to understand the money-making enterprise that is the unions, but the commission reported they’ve pocketed more than 350 million over the decade from a whole of these worker training funds, redundancy funds, things that in enterprise agreements between unions and businesses like, let’s say, BHP. The part of the deal to get them over the line is that these businesses pay money into these funds and then the unions cream off the funds. The money goes to the union, and the union then donates to the ALP. We all got to wake up to this.

Scott Hargreaves:

Oh, we do, Peta. We’ve come a long way from the toll puddle martyrs. We really have. The union movement trades on its history of struggle, but what we’ve seen is as union membership has collapsed in this country, as the old industrial base has been taken out and union membership declines, they’ve created a new business model essentially, which involves the rivers of gold flowing from the workers pay packets being siphoned off into programs like this for the benefit of the unions and as you say, which then donates to the ALP. We’ve also seen it in industry super. I think Australians and regulators need to understand that this really is the modern face of unionism and it’s got nothing to do with protecting workers’ interests.

Peta Credlin:

Hey, just James, before we go, we talked about the court and all the other invitations to come to Australia, a bit of disquiet Buckingham Palace because the King has not been formally invited to Australia. Bit miffed about that, of course, he should be able to come and go. He is the King of Australia, but the Prime Minister is a vowed Republican. Do you think that’s behind the lack of invite?

James Morrow:

Look, I would hope it wasn’t, but the more I looked into this story, the more I suspect that it really is the King. He’s not getting any younger. He’s also a great Australiaphile. I think he’s been here something like 17 times. Protocol would dictate that he would come in the first 12 months of his reign because this is one of the most important members of the Commonwealth, but he can’t come until he gets the formal invitation, so I think it’s amateurish for the PM’s office not to go and issue that same invitation. Maybe the Governor General can issue it to him when he’s over there for the coronation in a week or so.

Peta Credlin:

Well, we’ll be there for the coronation. The Prime Minister included maybe can invite him then. Thank you gentlemen. Scott Hargreaves there. James Morrow.

This transcript with Scott Hargreaves talking on Credlin from 26 April 2023 has been edited for clarity.

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