No economic recovery for workers without wage rise
GDP continues to recover – reaching 1.8 per cent growth in the March quarter and 1.1 per cent over the year – according to data released today by the ABS, but wage growth is at record lows and continues to stagnate with the Morrison Government not supporting an increase in the minimum wage – which the ACTU argues should increase 3.5 per cent.
With a rebounding economy and cost of living expected to continue to rise, Australian workers and the families that rely on them are struggling to make ends meet. The federal government has deliberately baked into their budget and fiscal policy another four years of stagnating wages, with the cost of living predicted to exceed wage growth during that time. This means, in real terms, that already struggling workers are going to see their wages cut. With all the talk of restarting the economy and getting money back into the system, the very last thing our society needs is those already doing it tough having less money to make ends meet.
56,000 JobKeeper recipients lost work when JobKeeper ended too early and workers are now suffering through the Victoria lockdown with no support. The pandemic isn’t over and the economy needs continued assistance to recover – assistance in the form of workers with enough money to spend.
It’s not too much of an ask that working people receive fair reward for their hard work and service, both during the pandemic and at all other times. Business profits rose 10.9 per cent in the year to March 2021, and the workers who drove that economic rebound are entitled to their fair share of the business profits.
“The Government does not have a leg to stand on in their argument against raising the minimum wage,” said ACTU Secretary Sally McManus.
“GDP growth is welcomed but should be shared with the workers who create it and who will drive the recovery through spending.”