15 March 2019
Media Release - #2019042, 2019

Government submission to Annual Wage Review

Joint media release
with the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
Minister for Women

The Coalition Government has today provided a submission to the independent Expert Panel of the Fair Work Commission as part of the Commission’s Annual Wage Review, providing the Commission with factual information for the Panel to consider in determining a fair increase to minimum wages – consistent with the practice of previous governments.

The fundamentals of the Australian economy are sound, the economy is growing faster than all G7 nations except the United States and the unemployment rate is at its lowest level in seven years.

Under the Coalition, Australia’s economic performance has enabled the Fair Work Commission to increase minimum and award wages every year since 2013.

The key to lifting wages is a strong economy, greater competition for labour and higher productivity.

There are more Australians in work than ever before, with more than 1.2 million people now employed compared to when we came to government in 2013. Last year, underpinned by strong economic growth and job creation, the Commission increased minimum wages by 3.5 per cent. This was above the increase in both inflation and national wages.

The minimum wage has increased every year under this Coalition Government, averaging one per cent above inflation. This is more than double the average increase seen under Labor. Indeed, the real minimum wage fell under Labor on numerous occasions.

The Coalition Government is raising productivity by lowering taxes to encourage investment, creating new opportunities for businesses through free trade agreements, reducing red tape and investing record levels of funding in infrastructure projects.

This stands in direct contrast to Labor’s claims about wages, which remain nothing more than a confused stunt.

First they said they would change everything, then they said they will keep things the way they are and ‘encourage’ the Fair Work Commission and now they say there’s more to come, but they won’t say what or when.

In Government, Labor never made a submission on wages calling for a particular increase. The Government’s submission today is no different.

Of course, as a union leader, Bill Shorten traded away penalty rates and overtime for his own union members to boost his power and position. Once again, look at what Labor does, not what Labor says.

Labor’s only plan for the economy is $200 billion of higher taxes on your retirement, your superannuation, your house, your business and your income, all of which is a recipe for a weaker economy, fewer jobs and less opportunity for wages growth. Labor cannot be trusted with the economy or wages because they do not understand the two are directly linked.

Only the Coalition’s economic plan of lower taxes, more trade and significant infrastructure investment will continue to deliver more jobs and higher wages for the benefit of all Australians.