Labor Anthony Albanese back 5.1% minimum wage rise Fair Work Commission Australia

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Millions of Aussies set for huge wage rise as Anthony Albanese calls for 5.1% hike to combat soaring cost-of-living which has hit a 21-year high

  • Labor has backed raising the wage for Australia’s lowest workers 
  • The increase would be the largest in decades  

The federal government has called on the Fair Work Commission to ensure the pay of low-income workers not go backwards, in its submission on a potential rise to the minimum wage.

The government handed in its submission to the commission on Friday afternoon, as the body reviews whether the minimum wage should rise above the current level of $20.33 an hour.

Following rising inflation levels, the highest in two decades, Employment Minister Tony Burke said the government was willing to fight for better wages for workers.

‘Keeping wages low is no longer a position from the government of Australia, we want to make sure that wages can get moving, and the first step of that was taken today,’ Mr Burke said in Sydney.

‘We have made clear to the Fair Work Commission in its annual age review that the position of the government is that we do not want low paid workers to go backwards.’

While the submission does not include a figure on how much the minimum wage should rise, the government argued the wages should not go backwards, following the consumer price index rising to 5.1 per cent.

The submission from the government said: ‘In considering its decision on wages for this year, the government recommends the Fair Work Commission ensures that the real wages of Australia’s low-paid workers do not go backwards.’

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said during the election campaign he would ‘absolutely’ back a 5.1 per cent increase in the minimum wage.

Mr Burke said the submission was not limited to those on the minimum wage, also referring to low-wage workers.

‘They’re largely the heroes of the pandemic … We’re talking about people on awards that are close to the minimum wage as well,’ he said.

‘We don’t want anyone to go backwards, but there’s a particular priority right now with respect to low-paid workers.’

Other bodies will have until Wednesday to lodge a submission in reply to the government’s position.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions had called for a 5.5 per cent rise to the minimum wage in its submission to the Fair Work Commission.

The commission is expected to hand down its final decision before the end of the month.

See also  Anthony Albanese writes to UN to increase Australia's emissions reductions target

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