Bandt introduces bill to lift minimum wage
Greens employment spokesperson and former industrial relations lawyer, Adam Bandt MP, today introduced legislation into the House of Representatives that would set the national minimum wage at 60% of the median full-time wage, to be phased in by the Fair Work Commission (FWC). The FWC will determine the phase in period, which must be no longer than 6 years, and will be required to publish a timetable for the intended phase-in of increases to meet the requirement at the earliest possible time. The FWC must have regard to matters including reducing inequality, the state of the economy and the circumstances of particular industries and classes of employers.
“In a rich country like Australia, people earning a full-time wage shouldn’t be living in poverty and struggling to make ends meet,” said Mr Bandt.
“Nearly 1 in 4 people in poverty is working full-time.
“Inequality is growing, wages are flat lining and having a full-time job is no longer a guarantee of security. Working people need a living wage enshrined in law.
“The Liberal and Labor tax cuts arms race will further entrench inequality. A wage increase is better than a tax cut.
“Instead of continuing to hurtle down the road of becoming a US-style unequal society we need to lift the minimum wage, raise Newstart and invest in universal services.
“The Greens are proud to support the ACTU’s campaign to change the rules and also to introduce this legislation that would change the rules for working people.
“I urge Labor, Liberal and members from all sides of the political spectrum to support this legislation that would put a floor under the minimum wage and provide an urgent boost to the income of the lowest paid people in society.”
Media contact: Gideon Reisner, 0429 109 054