$28 min­i­mum wage claim

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A$28-A-WEEK pay rise for min­i­mum wage earn­ers is mod­est and affordable, the ACTU says. It has lodged its sub­mis­sion to Fair Work Aus­tralia’s an­nual wage re­view for the rise for the one in six Aus­tralian work­ers who works on award min­i­mum wages.

Sec­re­tary Jeff Lawrence says busi­ness groups this year ef­fec­tively are re­peat­ing what they said last year in stat­ing that al­low­ing the low­est paid work­ers to re­ceive a $20-plus pay rise will send busi­nesses to the wall.

The min­i­mum wage was lifted by $26 a week last year.

‘‘The Aus­tralian econ­omy has con­tin­ued to out­per­form most of the de­vel­oped world,’’ Mr Lawrence says.

‘‘Eco­nomic growth con­tin­ued around the long-term av­er­age, un­em­ploy­ment is on the de­cline, wages growth is solid but sus­tain­able and pro­duc­tiv­ity has risen.’’

He says in­de­pen­dent re­search con­ducted by the Work­place Re­search Cen­tre shows em­ploy­ers gen­er­ally do not bud­get for min­i­mum wage in­creases.

The $26 in­crease awarded in 2010 had lit­tle im­pact on busi­nesses, he says.

A $28 pay rise would lift weekly wages from $569.90 to $597.90.

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