There appears to be nothing new in the ACTU's calls for an increase in minimum wage says Ai Group chief executive Innes Willox.
"An unsustainably large increase in minimum wages, like that being proposed by the ACTU, would simply harm low paid workers because employers would have less capacity to take on new workers and there would be less job security for existing workers.
Willox says tax transfer payments like the Family Tax Benefit are a superior way to provide income support to the low paid than requiring employers to provide unsustainably high wage increases. When wage increases are awarded, the cost to businesses is much higher because employers need to pay all the on-costs like superannuation, payroll tax etc.”
"Australia already has the third highest minimum wage in the world (after the Netherlands and Luxembourg). It is important that Australian companies remain globally competitive, in order to remain in business and continue to employ workers,” said Willox.
"Few Australian workers actually receive the National Minimum Wage because there are thousands of higher, legally enforceable minimum rates in 122 industry and occupational awards. Also, over-award payments are common.
"In Australia, the National Minimum Wage is set by the independent Fair Work Commission in Annual Wage Reviews which is held each year. This year the Commission awarded a 3.3% increase from 1 July, which was higher than inflation and higher than average wage increases.
Willox added that the ACTU and Ai Group would make submissions to the Fair Work Commission in the Annual Wage Review early next year.
“After hearing from all the parties and conducting its own research, in early June 2018, the Fair Work Commission will decide on what minimum wage increase will apply from 1 July next year," said Willox.
Image sourced from Flickr cc: Michael Coghlan