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Raising the minimum wage will deliver $3 billion economic boost

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Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Raising the minimum wage will deliver $3 billion economic boost

The ACTU’s call for a $27 per week increase to the minimum

wage will deliver a $3.1 billion per year economic stimulus.

In contrast, calls by employer groups for as little as $5.70 per

week increase amounts to a real wage cut for Australia’s lowest

paid workers when taking into account inflation.

The minimum wage claims have been made as part of the Fair

Work Commission’s Annual Wage Review currently underway,

which is the only pay rise for 1.86 million Australian workers.

In a new submission responding to employer claims, the ACTU

argues that increasing the minimum wage will help boost

consumer confidence and economic demand.

New figures in the ACTU’s reply submission show:

 A $27 per week increase in wages to the 18.8% of the

workforce on minimum wages will deliver a $3.1 billion

economic stimulus

 The RBA kept interest rates steady in March at 2.25%

and indicated that consumer confidence is needed to

boost jobs and economic growth, which a wage increase

will deliver

 Retail trade grew to 8.7% annualised in February

2015 showing employers can afford to increase

minimum wages

 Unemployment fell to 6.1% in March showing

employer claims that the labour market is not improving

are false

Australian Unions urge the Fair Work Commission to consider

the economic stimulus impact the ACTU’s minimum wage claim

will deliver.

A $27 per week increase is economically responsible,

appropriate and necessary to prevent a growing underclass of

working poor.

The following quotes are attributable to ACTU Secretary

Dave Oliver:

“A $27 per week pay rise for the 1.86 million Australian workers

on minimum wages will provide a $3.1 billion economic


“A $27 per week pay rise for our lowest paid workers is

essential if Australia is to avoid creating an underclass of

working poor.

“Labour productivity is high, profits are up, CEO salaries are

certainly going up - yet the share of the pie for workers is going


“There are already signs that Australia is developing a working

poor with financial stress, deprivation and poverty on the rise

among low paid workers.

“This is a pay rise for cleaners, people who work in shops and

restaurants - they are the lowest paid workers in this country

and it’s them not company CEOs who need a pay rise.

“These workers also deserve to retire with dignity and

increasing their super as well as the minimum wage will help

boost their retirement savings.

“Research shows boosting the minimum wage is good for

workers and does not have a negative impact on employment.”

Media contact: Eleni Hale, 0426 717 833 or Kara Douglas,

0418 793 885

Visit the ACTU website for all ACTU media releases.

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