15 March 2018

With people facing flat-lining wages, cost of living pressures and record levels of household debt a real increase to the minimum wage is needed, according to local Member of Federal Parliament Madeleine King.

Ms King said the minimum wage was no longer a living wage and the gap between it and the average wage was significant.

“Labor knows how people are struggling to pay rent and bills and so proposed a real increase to the minimum at the Fair Work Commission’s annual minimum wage review,” Ms King said.

“It is disappointing that the Liberal Government does not feel the same way and does not support low-paid workers getting an increase in their wages.”

Ms King said Labor had also asked for the Abbott-Turnbull Government policies which would make cost of living pressures worse to be taken into account. These include:

  • Support for cuts to penalty rates, the financial effect of which will be even higher in the coming years
  • Changes to child care subsidies that will leave around 279,000 families worse off, including thousands of families on low incomes.
  • Rising out of pocket health care costs and increased taxes for people on low incomes through the proposed increase to the Medicare Levy.

Labor believes in a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work and a decent national minimum wage is fundamental to achieving that goal.