Minimum wage increase doesn’t go far enough

Increased costs will out strip wage rises for millions of Australian workers after Fair Work Australia has today delivered a disappointing increase to the minimum wage.

Despite the fact we are one of the only countries in the world experiencing economic growth and forecasting a budget surplus this year, lower paid workers aren’t seeing any benefits.

The rate for Minimum Wage workers has fallen well behind the pay for average income earners over the past decade and means many simply cannot keep up with the cost of living.

The result of the annual minimum wage case means the lowest paid workers will now earn $606.40 a week, that’s a 17 dollar weekly increase or just 45 cents more an hour.

United Voice Queensland Secretary, Gary Bullock says “although any increase in wages for those on the lowest rate is welcome, we were hoping for more- namely 26 dollars per week.”

“The reality of the situation is that the cost of many essential items like food, water, electricity and petrol have all jumped this year- we need wages to reflect this”

“45 cents an hour more for people on the minimum wage will not enable them to keep up with the cost of living and means they will continue to struggle.”

“About 1.4 million Australians rely on this case to protect their living standards - that’s one in six workers, for many it’s the only way they’ll get a pay rise.”

“ It’s disappointing that the review panel did not agree with our submission to increase the minimum wage by 26 dollars a week as it would have made life a bit easier for lower paid workers.”

If you are covering the decision and would like some reaction from our members directly affected by the announcement please contact Susan Butler on 0428 189130 to arrange interviews.

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