Labor’s Bid for Wages Growth

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Labor wants a “responsible real increase” in the minimum wage to address poverty and cost of living pressures but has declined to say how much it should be.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Labor workplace spokesman Brendan O’Connor have lodged a submission on the minimum wage to the Fair Work Commission’s annual review.

“Everything in Australia is going up except people’s wages,” Mr Shorten said.

“When millions of Australian wage earners are experiencing wage stagnation, it hurts everybody.”

The submission argues no Australian working full-time should be living in poverty, and that productivity has expanded four times faster than wages since 2013, while company profits have grown five times faster than wages since 2016.

As well, international experience shows significant increases in the minimum wage can be sustained without costing jobs, while on the other hand, persistently low wages growth posed a real threat to consumer demand and the broader economy, Labor said.

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