Motion on Wage Increases

National Minimum Wage and Minimum Award Wages Increases

VIDEO

Today is 1 July, and 1 July is the day that 2.6 million low-paid workers will receive their third consecutive pay rise since the Albanese Labor government came to office. The government's decision to advocate on behalf of low-paid workers in three consecutive Fair Work Commission annual wage reviews has delivered astounding results. There has been a $5.30 an hour average increase in full-time award workers' earnings in our first term. That's an extra $200 per week, or $10,400 a year, before tax. We've seen a $3.77 per hour increase in the minimum wage in our first term. For a full-time minimum wage worker, that's an extra $143 a week, or $7,451 a year, before tax. A full-time minimum wage worker's annual salary has gone from $40,175 to $47,627 in just over two years. This is part of this government's plan to ensure that people earn more and keep more of what they earn.

We've delivered these wage increases while keeping unemployment at record lows and getting inflation to moderate. We know that people are under pressure, and pay rises are a tangible way the government is helping. Just imagine how much worse things would be for families if those opposite had their way and these pay rises had not happened. It took the coalition their entire wasted decade in office to lift the minimum wage by as much as we have in our first term, in two years of government. That's because the previous Liberal and National government never once argued for a rise in the minimum wage. They wanted to keep wages low, and that's one of the few promises they actually delivered on. The member for Dickson wants Australians to work longer for less. Labor wants workers
to earn more and keep more of what they earn. This decision was a direct result of advocacy from the Albanese Labor government.

On top of those measures, our industrial relations changes are also delivering pay rises to Australians doing it tough. Our approach to workplace relations is delivering incredible results, with nearly half a million more workers covered by enterprise agreements, and award workers benefiting from $10,000 pay rises. We said our secure jobs, better pay laws would fix the bargaining system, and now we're seeing the proof. The Fair Work Commission approved 1,022 enterprise agreements in the first quarter of 2024. New Department of Employment and Workplace Relations figures to be released today show this. That's well up from the same time period the year before, just after our secure jobs, better pay laws had passed the parliament. Agreements approved in the March quarter of 2024 covered 364,996 employees, the highest number of employees covered by newly approved agreements in over a decade. You will notice that theme of 'a decade' coming through very strongly. There were 2.14 million people covered by current enterprise agreements in the March quarter of 2024, around 480,000 more workers than when Labor came to government. The member for Dickson and his Liberals voted against secure jobs and better pay, saying our laws would close down Australia. Well, here we are. Australia's open for business. People have got a pay rise. It's 1 July 2024, and they're not just earning more; they're keeping more of what they earn because it's 1 July, and that means tax cuts for every Australian taxpayer, not just some.

Australians are under pressure right now. We know they are. In my community I hear it every day. My neighbours are living it. That's why Labor is helping all Australians with the cost of living. Today is a red-letter day because today we are delivering a tax cut for every Australian taxpayer, not just some; $300 energy bill relief for every Australian household; and $325 for small businesses. We're delivering a freeze on the cost of PBS medicines for every Australian, more funding to build more homes in every part of the country—and that's not all. This builds on already-delivered cheaper child care, fee-free TAFE and the biggest investment ever in expanding bulk-billing.

I'm proud to be a member of the Albanese Labor government, very proud on 1 July that we're delivering for Australians, hoping like all of my colleagues that these measures make an impact in the household budget and that people feel supported by this government

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