In yet another setback for Bill Shorten, Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh yesterday refused to rule out increases in the minimum wage are linked to higher levels of unemployment, a conclusion of his own research, after  Shorten bowed to union pressure to introduce a living wage last week.

Dr Leigh’s own research found just a 3 percent increase in minimum wage could push youth unemployment up by 1.2 percent, a statement he refused to stand by or answer questions on during a train wreck interview on RN Drive, where he also appeared to dismiss the issue of unemployment as getting into ‘the weeds’.

This comes after Australian Industry Group Chief Executive Innes Willox warned Labor’s plan would “push people out of work and lessen the opportunities for young people to enter the workforce” – a warning that echoes Dr Leigh’s own conclusions.

Labor have no plan to manage the economy, and no plan for jobs. Their only plan is to tax Australians more.

In contrast, the Liberal-National Government has an economic plan that is working. More than 1.2 million new jobs have been created since coming to Government in 2013, and according to the RBA Governor, “Wages are rising more quickly in almost all industries and in all states than they were a year ago.”

Australia currently has the third highest real minimum wage in the OECD, with the key to lifting wages at all levels being higher productivity, greater competition for labour and a strong economy.

Labor’s plan to implement their Housing Tax, their unfair Retiree Tax, and their tax hikes on small business is not the answer to creating a stronger economy and delivering on jobs growth.

The Liberal-National Government will continue driving increases in jobs, wages and growth by keeping taxes low, signing new free trade agreements and delivering record infrastructure spending, while Bill Shorten and Labor continue to bow to the demands of their union masters and promise to tax Australians more.