Minimum Wage Is Increased
2 July 2012 at 10:29 am
The Federal Government has announced that more than 1.3 million Australians will benefit for an increase of 2.9 per cent to the minimum wage.
The Fair Work Australia decision commenced on 1 July this year and means that the nation's lowest paid workers will see an increase of $17.10 a week to $606.40.
According to Fair Work Australia the increase will equate to almost $900 a year for a full time minimum wage earner.
The Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie has been campaigning for the pay gap in Australia to decrease.
“ACOSS has called for the growing gap between minimum wages and middle earnings to be reduced. From 1996 to 2010 the federal minimum wage fell from around 60 per cent to 54 per cent of median full time earnings,” Goldie said.
“The Commission’s $17 per week rise to $606 is enough to keep minimum wages moving in line with living costs, but probably not enough to reduce that gap.
Treasurer Wayne Swan and Minister for Employment Bill Shorten welcomed the increase for who they described as Australia’s hardworking but low paid workers.
“The real increase is a vote of confidence in the Australian economy, showing its underlying strength amid global uncertainty,” Swan said.
“This real increase in minimum wages will help low income working families manage cost of living pressures,” Shorten said.
“The minimum wage increases are an important reminder that a fair and balanced workplace relations system, underpinned by a simple, stable, safety net, is important for all working Australians.