The nation's inflation-fighting focus should be trained on price-gouging corporations like banks, and not productivity-boosting infrastructure, the CFMEU has warned.
The Reserve Bank raised rates yet again today, with the major banks expected to follow suit. Yesterday, Westpac announced a $7.2 billion profit with the other big banks due to announce similar results.
CFMEU National Secretary Zach Smith said it was disturbing to see commentary from the political class about how infrastructure builds were now in the crosshairs.
"It's strange how our war on inflation always involves pain for regular people, while the banks and the corporations who actually set high prices get off scot free," Mr Smith said.
"Families with mortgages have been ordered to eat yet another rate rise, and now they're being told they can't have public infrastructure upgrades either. It's crazy to suggest we need to stop building infrastructure our nation needs just to protect the mega profits of banks and corporations.
"Banks like Westpac could afford to take the hit instead of mortgage holders. Corporations could lower inflation by not jacking up prices, which they could easily afford to do. And if they decide to keep gouging mega profits from us, the government could recoup some of that through a super profits tax.
"But because the government is apparently too timid to even consider a super profit tax, we're now being told we have to slow down on building trains and roads and bridges. It's outrageous.
"Westpac revealed a $7.2 billion profit yesterday. Tell me again how they couldn't possibly afford to pay more tax.
"Public infrastructure boosts productivity and, more importantly, it improves people's lives. Millions of Australians benefit when we improve infrastructure. Our futures shouldn't be torched because the government is squeamish about taxing corporations.
"Ordinary Australians have copped enough punishment from this brutal sequence of interest rate rises. The very least they should expect is that their public infrastructure keeps pace with population growth.
"Working families can't be the only soldiers conscripted in the war against inflation. The inflation-fighting focus should be re-trained on price-gouging corporations, not ordinary Australians and their communities."
Zach Smith: 0448 900 893
Georgie Moore: 0421 943 293