In a country as wealthy as ours, there’s simply no reason why anyone working full-time should ever be in poverty.
Australia’s minimum wage system is broken. Too many Australians on minimum and award wages just don’t get enough money to make ends meet.
There’s a gaping chasm between these workers and those in the middle and it’s getting wider. Meanwhile, corporate profits are booming and CEOs are paying themselves mega-salaries and eye-watering bonuses as they try to hold down our wages.
But by taking these three steps, we can start to turn this around by ensuring that the minimum wage is a living wage.
1. Rethink the purpose of the minimum wage. It’s not a safety net but something that creates a strong foundation so that every worker can earn a living wage and properly support our kids .
3. A bold target for our minimum wage to help eliminate working poverty. It should be no less than 60% of the wages of people on average incomes.
We also know that when we raise wages at the bottom, everyone benefits because it means union members everywhere can push for more. A rising tide lifts all boats.