Labor tells wages umpire low-paid must not go backwards


CANBERRA(AAP) Dr. Majid Khan-Australian minimum wage workers are getting pay increases, with the support of the Albanian government, to prevent rising costs of living from eroding their wage packages.

The government is expected to flesh out the claims of minimum wage workers in a submission to the industry ombudsman’s annual minimum wage update on Friday.

Few would oppose a rise amid painfully high inflation, with annual growth he hit 6.8% at the last census.

Last year, Labor backed calls for a higher minimum wage, by which time inflation had soared.

The Fair Work Commission ultimately gave him a 5.2% pay raise, giving low-wage workers $40 a week. The government bill does not give specific figures, but recommends that “the real wages of low-wage workers in Australia should not fall”.

Considering inflation, Treasury Secretary Jim Chalmers and Labor Secretary Tony Burke said high inflation had pushed wages down.

“This is having the greatest impact on low-wage Australian workers and their families, many of whom do not have the savings or wages to support their rising cost of living.”

But Labor does not propose a uniform automatic wage hike to match inflation, or that inflation should be the only factor the committee takes into account.

For the Australian Chamber of Commerce, cost pressures on SMEs must also be considered. The group favors a 3.5% increase in pension guarantees from 1 July and a 0.5% increase.

Chamber of Commerce Secretary Andrew McKellar warned that pay cuts could weigh on small businesses and cause employers to cut hours and staff.

He also said adjusting the minimum wage to match inflation would keep inflation stubbornly high.

“Arbitrary wage increases will only mean inflation and interest rates stay high longer, which means more pain for all Australians.

The top group of unions, the ACTU, is calling for a 7% increase in minimum wages and wages.