Australia’s low-paid workers will be better off because the Albanese Labor Government fought to get them a pay rise.
During the election campaign, we promised to put in a new submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review to argue that people on low wages should not go backwards. We delivered on that promise in our first fortnight in office.
Today, the Fair Work Commission has delivered a 5.2 per cent rise in the minimum wage, slightly above headline inflation.
Its decision means an extra $40 a week for full-time workers on the minimum wage or low-paid awards.
Many low-paid workers are young, female, in casual employment, and are far more likely to find themselves experiencing financial hardship. Many of them were on the front line delivering essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
They deserve more than our thanks. They deserve this pay rise.
This is a great result for these workers. But it’s only the beginning.
The Government is determined to get wages moving again.
For the last nine years, low wages were a deliberate design feature of the Liberal National Government’s policies. They never once advocated for low-paid workers to get a pay rise.
That era is now over.
Labor will continue to fight for more secure jobs and better pay for workers. Our submission to this wage review was simply the first step.
The Government expects there to be a comprehensive discussion about other ways to get wages moving at the Jobs Summit later this year.
We also want to acknowledge the role the union movement played in today’s decision. They too argued that low-paid workers deserved a pay rise, particularly given the cost of living pressures people are experiencing.
The Albanese Labor Government is building a better future for all Australians—just as we promised.