Daily Bulletin

News

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
The Conversation

The Labor opposition has called for a “substantial” increase in the minimum wage, in a submission lodged with the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review.

But the ALP has not put a figure on the amount it believes would be appropriate.

With Bill Shorten making wages one of the centrepieces of his election pitch, the submission flags that an ALP government would rewrite the guidelines used by the commission in its wage setting.

“The Opposition accepts that the panel is constrained by the current legislative provisions, but no longer has confidence that these provisions have the capacity to deliver the wages growth that the lowest paid workers, and our economy, require,” the submission says.

The national minimum wage at present is $18.93 an hour, which is $719.20 for a 38-hour working week.

The ACTU wants rises brought in over two years amounting to an increase of 11.5%, that would take the minimum wage to nearly $42,000 a year.

It proposes a “living wage” of 60% of the median wage.

Under its proposal to the commission the minimum hourly rate would rise this year to $20.07, with the subsequent increase taking it to $21.17.

Labor has not yet released its full wages policy but while Shorten has spoken of a living wage, the opposition is not embracing the ACTU position, preferring to leave the onus on the FWC, under changed guidelines that would see the minimum wage boosted.

Read more: Explainer: what exactly is a living wage?

In its submission, the opposition says too many people are not getting a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work. It points to years of wage stagnation, the collapse of bargaining, insecure work and exploitation, and a minimum wage that traps people in poverty.

“A fair wage system is fundamental to a stronger economy too,” the submission says. “Because the incomes of working people are what drives confidence, demand and growth.

"The people most affected by this tribunal’s decision spend every single dollar they earn. It’s their wages and their purchasing power that helps keep small businesses afloat”.

Labor says the FWC should recognise in its decision a number of factors, including that “everything is going up except for wages”.

It points out that “since 2013 productivity has grown four times faster than wages” and “since 2016 company profits have grown five times faster than wages”.

The opposition argues that experience overseas shows significant increases in the minimum wage can be made without costing jobs, and says persistent low wages growth is a “threat to consumer demand and the broader economy”.

The submission says that in the last five years the minimum wage averaged 54.3% of median wages.

Shorten on Thursday said that apart from having a higher minimum wage, other initiative by a Labor government to improve wages would include restoring penalty rates, pressing for pay equity in feminised industries, and protecting labour hire workers and sub-contractors.

Scott Morrison said Shorten was either lying to people in saying he could do something about their wages - because he hadn’t explained how - or “if he’s telling the truth, then he is putting an enormous cost on small and family businesses that will force them to lay off staff. That is not good for the Australian economy.”

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/alp-urges-fair-work-commission-to-give-substantial-minimum-wage-increase-113595


The Conversation

Politics

Scott Morrison interview with Alan Jones - 2GB

ALAN JONES: The Prime Minister's on the line from Melbourne, Prime Minister good morning. PRIME MINISTER: Good morning Alan ALAN JONES:  thank you for your time. I wish we had three hours but look...

Alan Jones - avatar Alan Jones

Making suicide prevention a national priority

Providing greater support for all Australians needing mental health and suicide prevention services is a key priority of my Government.   Suicide takes far too many Australians, devastating famili...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison interview with Leigh Sales

LEIGH SALES: Prime Minister, welcome back, and congratulations on your re-election.   PRIME MINISTER: Well, thank you very much, Leigh. It's very good to be back.   SALES: Why is Labor's offer t...

Leigh Sales - avatar Leigh Sales

Business News

5 Types of Deadly Email Accounts In Your Email List And How To Get Rid of Them Quickly

Building a quality email list is a process that will take a fair amount of time. No matter what best practices you follow to collect email addresses there will be always some emails in your list that ...

Ali Burhani - avatar Ali Burhani

Tips for Entering the Solar Power Industry

Perhaps the most interesting statistic about the present-day solar industry lies in the fact that in the United States in 2016, there were more people employed in the solar energy industry than in...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

How to get the most out of a Premium Graduate Placement

An internship placement from PGP Australia can be a really rewarding and beneficial experience for anyone looking to get their foot in the door in a certain industry like human resources, accounting...

News Company - avatar News Company

Travel

Fun Workouts to Do on a Cruise

With an average of approximately 20 million people cruising each year, cruise vacations are gaining popularity throughout the world. The amount of people that go on a cruise each year is approxima...

Nicholas Rizzo - avatar Nicholas Rizzo

Top 8 Things To See And Do In Australia

Australia - One of the most popular travel destinations in the world, is camping, backpacking, diving, and road trip destination. The country’s immense beauty from Uluru to the Outback, rainforest...

Anna Jay - avatar Anna Jay

8 Tips How to Make Your Travels Memorable

Traveling the world is on every little kid's bucket list, and it usually remains to be there among top three well into the age as well. However, what makes traveling so fun and exciting is the nov...

Diana Smith - avatar Diana Smith

ShowPo