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MINIMUM WAGE DECISION (1)

May 30, 2019

Labor welcomes the real increase to the minimum wage handed down by the Fair Work Commission of 3 per cent ($21.60 per week).
 
The minimum wage will now be $740.80 per week or $19.49 per hour.
 
This decision is a repudiation of the Morrison Government’s refusal to support a real increase to the minimum wage.
 
At no point in the last six years has this Government supported real increases in submissions to the Annual Wage Review. Instead they have provided a slew of arguments advocating against real increases.

In handing down his decision the President of the Commission said no data was presented to show adverse employment effects from the previous two review decisions which were real wage increases.
 
With wages stagnating under this Liberal Government, this real wage increase is welcome and is also a repudiation of the government’s policies to support cutting penalty rates and keeping wages as low as possible. Under the Morrison government, low paid workers in retail and hospitality will have their wages cut again on July 1 this year.
 
The decision embraced Labor’s submission to the annual wage review in which we called for a real increase to the national minimum wage taking in to account cost of living pressures.
 
Since the last election, company profits have gone up 39 per cent but wages have only gone up 5 per cent. A record number of Australians are working a second job to make ends meet.
 
As always, Labor’s submission took into consideration the capacity of industry to pay, while acknowledging that there is a pressing need to restore the link between hard work and fair reward and rebuild the idea that a fairly paid workforce is a more productive workforce in a more profitable business.
 
Labor understand that a strong minimum wage not only supports the lowest paid, it is the foundation for the determination of award wages which in turn supports middle class families and stimulates economic growth.
 
Many Australians feel the economy is not working for them. Jobs are less secure and wages are less likely to be able to keep up with the cost of paying the bills.
 
Labor believes in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and a decent national minimum wage is fundamental to achieving that goal.

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