State and federal minimum wages closer to parity

by Chloe Taylor15 Jun 2015
The Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission (WAIRC) has decided that Western Australia’s lowest paid workers will receive a $14 a week pay rise.

According to ABC News, the increase of 2.1% is closer to the WA government’s proposed changes than the $30 a week that unions were demanding. 

The WAIRC said that although unemployment in WA was likely to rise, there was no evidence that this would affect the sectors influenced by changes to the minimum wage.

However, the commission acknowledged that the gap between the federal GDP and WA’s was closing, meaning that any rise in wages would constitute a cost to employers. WA’s minimum wage is still $23 higher than the national minimum wage, having increased from approximately $666 a week to around $680 a week.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) issued a statement that praised the decision to bring federal and state wage levels closer to equity.

In the statement, chief executive Deidre Willmott said that the CCI supported the decision.

“[The] CCI had argued the state minimum wage should be brought closer in line with the national standard because of the high levels of unemployment across the state and a significant reduction in private sector wages growth,” she said.

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