Polling conducted the by the peak body for working people has revealed two-to-one support for a boost to the minimum wage, indicating that Australians are not buying the big business scare campaign against pay rises.
The poll, taken shortly before the Fair Work Commission announced a 3.5 percent rise for 2.3 million people on the minimum wage and industry awards, asked 1502 respondents which of two statements better represented their view.
More than 64% of respondents agreed that “increasing the minimum wage will increase the amount people have to spend, creating demand that will create jobs”. Only 35.8% of those polled agreed “increasing the minimum wage will increase the costs on small business, cost jobs and force small businesses to close.”
The poll was taken by independent accredited research agency between May 7 and May 16.
Business groups unanimously opposed any pay rise in real terms for working people, with some groups like the National Retail Association actually arguing for a pay freeze. This is despite historically low wage growth that has been a cause of serious concern even among conservative economic commentators
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“People need fair pay rises to keep up with the basic costs of living, and local businesses need customers who have money in their pockets.
“Pay rises supercharge our economy and help us get to where we need to be. They’re good for working people, for local businesses and for our country.
“But right now big business has too much power, and they want to cut our pay to enrich themselves.
“Malcolm Turnbull has done their bidding and from 1 July his latest penalty rate cuts are kicking in. Double the size of last year’s cuts, these are the harshest yet.
“We need to change the rules so all working people can fight for fair pay rises and more secure jobs.”