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Minimum wage earners to get pay rise

Australia’s minimum wage earners to get $40 a week pay rise The Fair Work Commissions has ruled that Australia’s minimum wage will be increased by 5.2%, lifting minimum wages by at least $40 a week.  Noting a ‘sharp increase in the cost of living’, the commission has ruled that the hourly pay be lifted from $20.33 to $21.38. This decision, handed down in the annual wage review, will come into effect from 1 July, except for the aviation, tourism and hospitality sectors. Because of the slower recovery of these sectors, which are among those badly affected by the Covid recession, the increase will be delayed to 1 October. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese welcomed the decision, tweeting: “We welcome the Fair Work Commission’s announcement of a $1.05 an hour pay rise for Australians on the minimum wage. This is great news, but it’s just the beginning. We have more work to do [to] make sure more Australians can get ahead and have real economic security.” On the other hand, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO Andrew McKellar expressed worry that the increase posed a “very significant risk” to the economy. “By our calculations, this will add $7.9 billion in costs to the affected businesses over the year ahead, so that will be a very considerable burden that those businesses will either have to take to their bottom line, or pass onto their customers,” he said. “It comes at a time when inflation is emerging as one of the most urgent challenges facing the Australian economy and if we are to address that, if we are to remain competitive, then, clearly, this is not a decision that will help in those circumstances.

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