Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry calls for 1.9% increase in minimum and award wages

13 Mar 2018 |

An increase of up to 1.9% in the minimum wage and award wages, consistent with the current rate of inflation, is reasonable as our economy begins to show some signs of improvement, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (“Australian Chamber”) said today.

The Australian Chamber made the comments in advance of its submission to the Fair Work Commission’s latest wage review process.

“Employers recognise the need for wages to rise as the cost of living rises”, Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“But for businesses to be able to stay open and retain employees, the right balance has to be met.

“Businesses impacted by the minimum wage and award wages decision include small and medium businesses with lower profit margins, many with higher wages and salaries as a proportion of total expenses and lower survival rates.

“Award-reliant sectors such as retail are facing intense competition from the online, global market.

“The current reality is that growth in the economy remains patchy and below-trend.

“For example, where government spending has been a key driver of growth lately and rose by a further 1.9% in the December quarter, in contrast private demand was weak rising only 0.1% in the quarter.

“It is important that we see the economy rebalance away from the public sector and more toward private enterprise so we can see productivity, jobs and incomes increase over time.

“It’s hard to understand why the union movement demands an unrealistic 7.2% increase in minimum wages when they know the tough conditions that small businesses face.”

The Australian Chamber’s submission to the 2017-2018 Annual Wage Review can be accessed here.


Duncan Bremner

Director - Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0448 822 666

E  |  [email protected]

Alana Matheson

Deputy Director - Workplace Relations

P  |  0407 174 960

E  |  [email protected]

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