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Wages for most low paid workers fall in real terms
Feb '08
Wages for around 1.5 million low paid workers reliant on awards fell below the rate of inflation last year says the ACTU.

The Fair Pay Commission (AFPC) is wrong to claim that low paid workers are better off in real terms when only 4% of workers are reliant on the Federal Minimum Wage — most (96% of around 1.6 million workers) are reliant on other minimum wage levels which fell in real terms by up to $15 a week last year.

ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said:
“The Fair Pay Commission (FPC) is being misleading in its claims that Australia's low paid workers are better off.

“The fact is that the pay of most workers reliant on minimum wages has fallen as a result of the Fair Pay Commission's decision last year.

“It is also misleading to include the value of the Federal Government's tax cuts in its modelling of the incomes of working families.

“This is a cop out by the Fair Pay Commission which is trying to hand ball responsibility for maintaining the living standards of low paid workers to the Government and its tax and social security programs.

“It is essential that workers receive a decent wage they can live on and they do not have to rely on social security to top their wages up above the poverty line.

“Taking into account the tax cuts is just a way for employers to evade their responsibility to give workers a pay rise.

“Unions will be seeking a decent pay rise for low paid workers that takes into account sharp increases in the prices of petrol, housing costs and food that are putting low paid workers and their families under financial pressure”, said Mr Lawrence.

Australian Council of Trade Unions

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