8 July 2008
“Today’s decision will help low paid workers and their families who have been hit hard by increases in the cost of living,” said Lin Hatfield Dodds, ACOSS President.
“Low income households have been disproportionately affected by sharp increases in rent, fuel and utility costs. Improvements in the real value of minimum wages are an important part of assisting people on low incomes meet these costs,” said Gregor Macfie, ACOSS Acting CEO.
ACOSS argued in its submission to the Commission that:
- Minimum wages should be set against benchmarks for a decent basic standard of living for a single adult according to contemporary Australian standards;
- The benchmarks should be well above poverty levels;
- The effect of minimum wage and family payments on the extent of poverty should be taken into account in setting minimum wages;
- Minimum wage increases should at least increase in line with general wage movements so that minimum wage earners do not fall behind; and
- Minimum wage rates for young people, apprentices and trainees, and people with disabilities under the Supported Wage System, should continue to be increased in line with the rise in the federal minimum wage.