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Minimum wage hike could lift people out of poverty, business groups warn

The Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase the minimum wage from $20.33 an hour to $21.38 an hour could have the unintended consequence of providing workers with the necessary money to buy food and water, business leaders have cautioned.

Noting that the 5.2% increase was ‘well above’ the current 5.1% CPI rate, business industry spokesperson Jeremy Fadden said the ruling meant workers would essentially be getting free money. “All this is doing is providing millions of Australians with excess money to buy luxuries like groceries and rent, or three litres of petrol”.

He said the new wage rate was unworkable and has called for it to be scrapped. “How can corporations be expected to run their businesses if they are forced to pay their workers enough to live off? It’s not sustainable”.

Fadden said a more cautious approach was required. “We’d all love to get paid more – I mean, I haven’t had a pay rise since 2021, and that was only a 4% raise, or $18,000 a year. Certainly not 5.2%. We all need to make sacrifices and think about the impact this will have on the economy”.

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