A rise in the minimum wage won’t hurt Australia’s recovery. It will help it | Alison Pennington

A rise in the minimum wage won’t hurt Australia’s recovery. It will help it | Alison Pennington

The Guardian

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The Morrison government’s opposition to a real wage rise shows that whether the economy is weak or strong, they believe workers should get less

Australians are getting accustomed to contradictory economic messages from the federal government. The economy has miraculously recovered when the government announces cuts to jobkeeper and the coronavirus supplement. But it’s on the precipice of collapse when the government argues against a significant increase in the minimum wage. The only consistent thread in the government’s approach is that whether the economy is weak or strong, workers should get less.

In its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review (which determines whether 2.3 million award-covered workers will get a wage increase this year), the government is opposing any significant increase in the minimum wage. It claims that even a moderate wage increase would threaten economic recovery and employment in the wake of the pandemic. Its standard line is: “If employers can’t afford wage increases, they’ll cut jobs!”

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