© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians prepare to walk across a main road in front of a construction site in the central business district (CBD) of Sydney in Australia, November 8, 2018. Picture taken November 8, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray
By Lewis Jackson
SYDNEY (Reuters) -Minimum wage increases that match inflation would be welcomed by the Australian government, the prime minister said on Friday, although the Labor government’s submission to an independent wage-setting body did not advocate as such.
The government submission recommended real wages for low-paid workers “do not go backwards” but added it was not suggesting wages should “across-the-board” automatically increase with inflation.
Changes to the national minimum wage are reviewed annually by the independent Fair Work Commission (FWC), which last year delivered an increase largely in line with inflation at the time. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has called for a 7% increase to match inflation again.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the Labor government’s submission to the FWC did not contain a specific number but he would welcome an inflation-matching increase in minimum wage.
“My values haven’t changed,” Albanese told ABC Radio.
“If the Fair Work Commission makes that decision then I would welcome it, but it is an independent decision of government. It’s up to them to determine the range of factors they’ll consider.”
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