MIL-OSI Australia: Pay rise for low-paid workers and women

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Source: Australian Treasurer

The Fair Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review decision is a win for workers, a win for women and it will help with the cost of living.

We want to see strong and sustainable wages growth because we see this as part of the solution to the cost‑of‑living challenge, not part of the problem.

The 3.75 per cent increase to modern award minimum wages will directly help 2.6 million workers.

The Commission’s changes today mean national minimum wage earners in Australia will now be paid $24.10 per hour, which is an extra $33.10 per week and an additional $1721 per year.

Across the three Annual Wage Review decisions since coming to Government, the wages of minimum wage earners have increased by $143.30 per week and by $7451.60 per year.

The Fair Work Commission also announced that it is focused on the timely resolution of gender undervaluation issues arising in respect of certain modern awards.

Commission‑initiated proceedings will address gender undervaluation in modern awards identified as priority areas by the FWC, and the FWC intends for this to be complete by the time of next year’s Annual Wage Review for early childhood education and care workers, disability home care workers and other social and community services workers, dental assistants, medical technicians, psychologists, other health professionals and pharmacists.

Our economic plan is all about helping Australians earn more and keep more of what they earn which is why our Budget is focused on easing cost‑of‑living pressures, including delivering a tax cut for every taxpayer.

We believe one of the best ways to deal with cost of living pressures is to ensure workers earn enough to provide for their loved ones and to get ahead.

That’s why we went in to bat for Australians, recommending the Commission ensure real wages for low‑paid workers don’t go backwards.

The previous Liberal and National Government never advocated for a pay rise for low paid workers. The improved outcomes in the last three Annual Wage Reviews coincide with a Government that supported working families.

After a decade of deliberate wage stagnation and suppression under the Coalition, under Labor, real wages are growing again – and we’ve seen a return to real wages growth faster than forecast.

Since the election, nominal wages have been growing at an annualised average of 3.9 per cent, compared to 2.2 per cent for our predecessors.

At the same time, inflation is moderating in our economy, is less than half its peak and almost half of what it was at the time of the election.

The Government’s cost‑of‑living policies have helped deliver faster annual real wage growth to workers sooner by targeting inflation.

Budget estimates show that our cost‑of‑living policies are expected to directly reduce inflation by ¾ of a percentage point in 2023–24 and ½ of a percentage point in 2024–25.

As the Fair Work Commission noted, this wage increase is consistent with the published Budget forecasts of a return of inflation to below 3 per cent in 2025.

The Government’s policies to secure pay rises for minimum and award wage earners like the one announced today, fund a wage rise for aged care workers, and change the law to support secure jobs and better pay have also supported a return to real wage growth.

In addition, the Government is funding more TAFE and university places, incentivising investment in future industries and undertaking broader economic reforms to help deliver more well‑paid jobs and boost productivity in our economy.

Peter Dutton wants Australians to work longer for less but we take a different approach.

We believe every Australian deserves a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.

We’ll continue to do what we can to help Australians earn more and keep more of what they earn with a Budget and an economic plan focused on easing inflation, delivering tax cuts for every taxpayer and creating the conditions to drive sustainable wages growth into the future.