According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Australia now has the world’s highest minimum wage. While this appears to be a positive step for low income Australian workers the increase in other factors such as taxes and the cost of living means that they do not reap the benefits of a higher minimum wage.
McDonald Murholme Managing Director Alan McDonald says that while the minimum wage may be rising, it doesn’t necessarily mean that life will become any easier for lower income Australians.
“It is claimed employees in Australia benefit from one of the highest minimum wage standards in the world, however living costs and taxes are so high that it negates this benefit, Mr McDonald says.
“The fact that Australia has the highest minimum wage is nothing to crow about, it is actually of little consolation to the employees on that wage because they also have the highest taxes, a high cost of living and in particular, high energy prices.
“Employees outside the wealthy suburban areas, living in rural in rural Australia suffer because too often employers can’t afford the minimum rates so don’t employ, or they are underpaid.
“The distribution of wealth has widened with the minimum wage of low-income earner flat line over more than a decade and the high-income earners wealth growing significantly over that period.
“No one should believe that the minimum wage earners are well off, these statistics don’t reflect the reality of those on low.
“In light of this, it is important that the government treads lightly on changes to the FWC regulations and allows the Commission to uphold Australia’s high standard for protecting employees.
“Calls by peak employer bodies to attack higher wages are to be rebuffed.”