Labor has made a submission to the Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review, calling for a fair and economically responsible increase to the national minimum wage.
Labor believes in a strong economy that doesn’t leave people behind – such as those Australians relying on the minimum wage.
Labor’s priority is to protect living standards, jobs and ensure a strong economic future by supporting growth and a strong safety net.
In the first submission by a Federal Opposition to the Annual Wage Review, Labor has outlined our support for an appropriate increase in the national minimum wage that takes account of the rising cost of living and the broader economic environment.
Labor’s submission highlights the current threat to living standards and the growing inequality in Australia as evidence supporting an increase in the national minimum wage.
Labor also urges the Panel to consider the prospect of further budget cuts proposed but not yet legislated by the Abbott Government in its determination.
With inequality at a 75-year high, and following the most unfair Budget in living memory, we believe the minimum wage cannot be allowed to erode further.
While the minimum wage has been increasing in real terms, it has been decreasing relative to median and average wages. Twenty years ago the minimum wage was 63 per cent of the median wage. Now it is 54 per cent.
Labor has not nominated a quantum by which the minimum wage increase but has provided evidence supporting an increase to the independent Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage Panel for its consideration.
Labor supports the minimum wage being determined by the independent Fair Work Commission Minimum Wage Panel taking into account each element of the Modern Awards Objective.
It is critical the Fair Work Commission takes into consideration the effect of the economy, employment and the effect on individuals to ensure Australian workers receive a fair and economically responsible increase in the minimum wage.
A strong minimum wage doesn’t just help our lowest paid, it is the foundation for the determination of award wages which in turn supporting middle class families and stimulate economic growth.
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.
MONDAY, 30 MARCH 2015
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053