October 29, 2005


'God' to guide deal on fair pay (Phillip Hudson, October 30, 2005, The Age)

The head of the proposed new Fair Pay Commission, Ian Harper, revealed yesterday that he wants to use the post to do "God's will" and will rely on his faith and values to make fair and balanced decisions for low-paid workers.

"I'll be praying for wisdom … praying for courage and praying above all that God's will is being done through this, not mine," the committed Anglican said.

"I'm a Christian. I believe in God and I believe that God's will is important to be done in the world. It means I hold very dear to the values of fairness, justice, honesty, integrity in the process that I'll use to be making a decision with my fellow commissioners." [...]

Professor Harper is one of Australia's top economists, a financial markets expert and director of the Melbourne Business School. He also served as a lay preacher in the Anglican Church and is aligned to the conservative wing of the church.

His decision to speak about his faith comes after he was criticised by some religious and economic leaders for accepting the job. [...]

Values were important in economic policy, he said.

"How can somebody hope to arbitrate on questions as sensitive as the minimum wage without having any framework at all for determining what is morally right?" he said. "I will be seeking to bring my Christian values to the decisions that the commission will have to make."

Professor Harper said he found it "rather strange" that people had highlighted his Anglican faith in discussing his appointment to the government job. Delivering a speech about values and economic policy, he said Christians should champion a strong economy.

"I don't see anything especially just or merciful about low levels of economic growth … about high inflation which destroys the wealth accumulation of honest, hard-working people," he said.

It gets harder and harder to tell which state of the Anglosphere they're talking about.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 29, 2005 8:47 PM
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