Joint Media Release with Wayne Swan, Treasurer
Today the Rudd Labor Government provided a balanced submission to the Australian Fair Pay Commission’s 2008 minimum wage review, supporting a measured increase in the minimum wage.
The submission considers a range of economic circumstances, and asks the Commission to strike the right balance between the financial needs of low paid workers and the potential impact of minimum wage increases on the broader economy.
The submission includes the latest Commonwealth Government analysis of wages growth, the labour market, minimum wage-reliant workers, the economy and the inflation outlook to assist the Commission in making its decision.
The Government believes it is appropriate that the low paid workers who have worked so hard to make our economy strong, and those who are most vulnerable to financial stress, share in Australia’s prosperity.
That is why the Government supports a measured increase in the minimum wage, which will deliver a balanced outcome across a range of important economic and social objectives.
The Government recognises the most pressing domestic economic challenge is elevated inflation, which is forecast by the Reserve Bank to persist over the next two years.
Inflation hurts working families by putting upwards pressure on interest rates, eroding savings and leading to higher prices more generally. That’s why the Government has called for restraint throughout the entire community, particularly from high income earners.
The Rudd Government therefore supports a measured increase in minimum wages that balances the need to fight inflation with proper recognition of the cost of living pressures facing Australians on low incomes.
The Government’s submission is available online at http://www.workplace.gov.au