Jun 9, 2005

Albanese welcomes pay rise for the lowest paid in Grayndler


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 9 June 2005

Anthony Albanese, Member for Grayndler, welcomed the AIRC decision to increase the minimum wage for 1.6 million Australian workers and their families by $17 a week.

“The increase in the minimum wage of $17 per week or an increase of nearly $900 a year is an important boost for struggling workers and families in this area.”

The ruling by the independent umpire has seen a minimum wage rise of 3.6%, just over the Treasury forecast inflation rate of 2.75%. If the Howard Government had its own way those 1.6 million Australians would not have received this $17.

Mr Albanese said, “John Howard wants to give the highest income earners a $65 tax cut but is opposed to the lowest paid in Grayndler receiving this $17 a week. That is a massive injustice.”

“The Howard Government and the Liberal Party want to take the National Minimum Wage Case away from the independent umpire and in the future have the minimum wage considered by its own low pay commission.”

Mr Albanese said, “Removing the independent umpire from the wage case safety net is all about the Howard Government taking the axe to the wages and conditions of Australia’s lowest paid and most vulnerable workers.”

“The Liberal Party has opposed every independent Minimum Wage Case since 1996, and when John Howard gets control of the Senate he will push through extreme industrial relations legislation which will include slashing the wages, entitlements and conditions of the lowest paid workers in my electorate,” Mr Albanese said.

“If the Howard Government had its way, since 1996 individual workers and their families in Grayndler and around Australia would today be $2,600 a year, or $50 a week, worse off.”

“John Howard and the Liberal Party are no friends of the workers of this area.” Mr Albanese said, “I challenge the Prime Minister to guarantee that no individual employee in my electorate will be worse off under his proposed industrial relations changes.”

“Until the Prime Minister gives this guarantee Australian employees and their families have got nothing to look forward to under the Howard-Costello Government than higher interest rates, higher health costs, higher petrol prices and lower wages”.