The Annual Wage Review is hitting a solid wall of protest from employer lobbyists, arguing that a pay rise should again be delayed for another four months. This is after the government submitted their recommendation to the Fair Work Commission.
“In considering its decision on wages for this year, the government recommends the Fair Work Commission ensures that the real wages of Australia’s low-paid workers do not go backwards,” the submission said, although the newly elected government did not elaborate on how much the minimum wage should be.
As in many other countries, Australia is now facing an inflation which was one of the key reasons for former PM Scott Morrison’s downfall. Newly elected prime minister Anthony Albanese will face a tough fight from the employer groups.
Earlier today, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) raised the cash rate to 85 basis points, or up by 50 basis points, the biggest margin in a single move since February 2000. This just highlights the level of inflation faced by the economy under pressure not just from the pandemic, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine, but also from internal factors such as the heavy floods earlier this year. The current inflation is at 5.1 per cent, with the RBA expecting it to spike to six per cent by the end of 2022, well above the target of two to three per cent.
The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) secretary, Sally McManus commented, “It is morally indefensible for employers to argue for pay freezes when profits are up 20 per cent and on every measure businesses have recovered well from the pandemic. The biggest risk to business is actually consumer spending which ironically they are seeking to damage through their proposed wage cuts.”