Australian Government to Push for An Increase in Minimum Wage

By Steve Milne
Steve Milne
Steve Milne
Writer
Steve is an Australian reporter based in Sydney covering sport, the arts, and politics. He is an experienced English teacher, qualified nutritionist, sports enthusiast, and amateur musician. Contact him at steve.milne@epochtimes.com.au.
May 27, 2022 Updated: May 27, 2022

Newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will sign a letter to the Fair Work Commission on Friday pushing for an increase in the minimum wage.

Speaking to the Australian BC Radio on Friday, Albanese said the letter would notify the Fair Work Commission of the government’s intent to lodge a formal submission on the matter prior to June 7.

The submission will be primarily aimed at workers on the minimum wage of $20.33 an hour, but Albanese said there wouldn’t be a suggestion of what the increased rate should be.

“There won’t be a number in the submission,” he said. “What there will be, though, is the strong view that we have that people who are on the minimum wage simply can’t afford a real wage cut.”

This comes as electricity prices are set to rise, petrol prices are over $2 a litre despite the former government cutting the fuel excise by 44 cents a litre in half, and other costs of living pressures stretch budgets.

Albanese said that when it comes to energy prices, there’s enormous pressure, a contributing factor to which is the ageing grid.

“Our plan is to put downward pressure on prices by boosting renewables and storage in the grid.”

“It was in my first Budget Reply that we needed to upgrade the grid so that renewables can actually fit into the system and modernise it for the 21st century.”

Epoch Times Photo
Australia’s new Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles takes an oath during a swearing-in ceremony at the Government House in Canberra on May 23, 2022. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP via Getty Images)

However, Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles said Labor would not be extending the fuel excise cut beyond September 29. This means petrol prices will increase by 22 cents a litre on that date.

“We’ve made our position clear on that, and it’s not our intention to change that,” he told Sunrise on Tuesday.

“We think there are other ways in which we can deal with cost of living…and ultimately, getting wages going is the main game here.”

Marles said that the principal focus is to make sure that people are not going backwards and that those on the minimum wage are not left behind in a context of rising inflation.

“Now the detail of that we will work through in the submissions that are ultimately put to the Fair Work Commission,” he said.

“And ultimately, this is a step, just one step though, in a whole agenda that we will bring forward to getting wages going again, like it’s really important that we are giving people the skills they need to get the good jobs that are out there.”

Marles listed Labor’s policies such as free TAFE and bringing manufacturing back to Australia as means to achieve this.

Steve Milne
Steve is an Australian reporter based in Sydney covering sport, the arts, and politics. He is an experienced English teacher, qualified nutritionist, sports enthusiast, and amateur musician. Contact him at steve.milne@epochtimes.com.au.