“Like death and taxes, we can always count on a yearly minimum wage hike,” said Gideon Rozner, Director of Policy at the free market think tank Institute of Public Affairs.
“Minimum wage decisions are predictable. The Australian Council of Trade Unions makes an ambit claim – in this case 6 per cent – and employer groups make a low-ball offer – in this case 1.8 per cent. As usual, the Fair Work Commission has landed in the middle with an increase of 3 per cent.”
“Of course, higher wages are great for those who have a job. But for many Australians, each minimum wage increase puts the dignity of work out of reach.”
“Right now, there are over 700,000 unemployed Australians looking for work, around 1.1 million underemployed looking for more work, and countless others who do not even show up on unemployment statistics because they have given up looking.”
“Jacking up the minimum wage is a slap in the face to Australia’s most vulnerable. The Fair Work Commission’s decision today will affect the many disadvantaged Australians outside the labour market and struggling to find entry-level work. They will not get a pay rise – and many will find it harder to get their foot in the door.”
“The Fair Work Commission should put more emphasis on the needs of job-seekers, because employment is indispensable from a good, meaningful life. Work provides an opportunity to create value, build skills and enjoy earned success. Individual employees and employers should be free to come to an agreement on the arrangements that best suit them,” said Mr Rozner.
For media and comment: Evan Mulholland, Director of Communications, on 0405 140 780, or at [email protected]