13 DECEMBER 2022 – The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union has urged the Albanese Government that its proposed supply incentives to energy companies must benefit workers and not become a Qantas-style corporate handout to highly-paid coal, oil and gas CEOs.
While the Government's action on energy prices is welcome, reports that up to $500 million will be set aside as "supply incentives" for coal companies raises concerns that more public money will go into the pockets of some of the wealthiest CEOs in the country. The median pay of energy CEOs rose nearly 50 per cent last year.
Any supply incentives must have proper governance and accountability measures in place to make sure the energy price cap does not become another corporate raid on public funds. Any public funds given to energy companies must come with enforceable commitments that the money is invested in Australia's energy workforce – and does not end up in CEOs' pockets.
Comments attributable to AMWU National Secretary Steve Murphy:
“These supply incentives for energy companies must not become a Qantas-style corporate handout. The former Morrison Government gave Qantas more than $2 billion of public funding and asked for absolutely nothing in return. It was publicly funded corporate welfare that did nothing to benefit workers or Qantas customers. That cannot happen again.
“The whole point of this price cap is to relieve suffering for working people struggling to pay their energy bills. Giving half a billion dollars to some of the richest CEOs in the country without clear and enforceable conditions would do nothing to help workers or bring prices down.
"Energy CEOs are some of the richest people in the country, and they're getting richer all the time while the cost of living spirals and inflation hurts working families. The Albanese Government has an opportunity to invest in Australia's energy workforce with these supply incentives – but energy CEOs will pocket the money and run if the Government doesn't earmark it for the benefit of the workers who keep the lights on."
Media contact: Alex McKinnon 0419 286 145