Increase in the federal minimum wage not welcomed

Recent increase in the federal minimum wage is not considered as a viable solution to the increasing working poor class while the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry claims that the decision will leave an adverse impact on the business community.

Australia’s lowest paid workers will now receive an increased minimum wage of $15.80 per week. The increase affects 1.5 million people and will take their weekly, full-time wage to $622.20. However, UnionsWA secretary Meredith Hammat believes that the increase will not give any relief to 300,000 workers under the federal award.

“People who are working often in full time jobs, they’re trying to bring up families, they’re trying to meet these basic expenses but they’re finding they’re not earning enough from their full time jobs to keep them out of poverty,” she said.

“It is not enough for employers to talk about economic fears which have not been realized. What is real is that housing and other essential costs of living are high and rising in WA,” she added.

On the contrary, the business community has termed the decision as a blow to their profits. The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has complained that the increase is excessive.

“Today’s minimum wage decision by the Fair Work Commission is a body blow to Australia’s small and medium business community which do the bulk of employing with Australia. This decision is a blunt instrument on the small and medium business community because it does not take into account differential capacities to pay. We are disappointed that the commission has failed to provide for differential treatment for those sectors that are under significant economic stress,” ACCI chief executive Peter Anderson said.

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