Tax changes offset minimum wage rise

15 Mars, 2019, 00:35 | Auteur: Auguste Feret

Labor MP Brendan O'Connor says an increase to the minimum wage won't result in job losses.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions have called for a $43-a-week increase this year, as part of a two-year proposal to ensure workers are lifted out of poverty.

Pre-empting an attack by the coalition, Labor pointed to the United Kingdom as proof a higher minimum wage won't push more people into unemployment.

Guardian Australia understands the federal government will follow its usual practice of making a factual submission which details the state of the economy but makes no recommendation for a wage rise.

Meanwhile, company insolvencies have increased through late 2018 in the construction, retail and hospitality industries.

"Also, productivity growth is weak nationally and in industries with mainly low-wage employees".

Mr Shorten has supported the concept of a "living wage", but the submission fails to put a figure on how much wages should rise for 2.2 million low paid workers.

"What Bill Shorten is doing now is telling them: "You choose who needs to go, to enable you to meet your wages bill".

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But in its submission, Labor argues that worldwide evidence shows that "significant increases in the minimum wage can be sustained without costing job".

In the past two years, the Fair Work Commission has granted increases of 3.3 per cent and 3.5 per cent despite record low wage growth in the broader economy.

"Labor believes in a fair day's pay for a fair day's work and a living wage is fundamental to achieving that goal", he said.

Australia - now ranked third behind Luxembourg and the Netherlands - would then have the highest minimum wage among OECD countries.

AiGroup's claim is higher than the 1.8 per cent or $12.95 a week increase made by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

OECD statistics reveal the Australian minimum wage is now US$427.59 per week, not far behind Luxembourg at US$457.25 per week. "It's different to a U.S. state with a single statutory minimum wage", he said.

"Businesses are struggling to cope with high and rising input costs, especially energy costs", Mr Willox said.

Barklamb said it was an "extraordinary proposition" for unions to argue the minimum wage was inadequate because it is the third-highest in the world in terms of purchasing power.

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