GDP continues to recover – reaching 1.8 per cent growth in the March quarter and 1.1 per cent over the year – according to data released today by the ABS, but wage growth is at record lows and continues to stagnate with the Morrison Government not supporting an increase in the minimum wage – which the ACTU argues should increase 3.5 per cent.

56,000 JobKeeper recipients lost work when JobKeeper ended too early and workers are now suffering through the Victorian lockdown with no support. The pandemic isn’t over and the economy needs continued assistance to recover assistance in the form of workers with enough money to spend.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“Profits rose 10.9 per cent in the year to March 2021, the Government does not have a leg to stand on in their argument against raising the minimum wage.

GDP growth is welcomed but should be shared with the workers who create it and who will drive the recovery through spending.

“A 3.5 per cent rise in the minimum wage would make a world of difference for 1 in 4 workers, and with more money to spend workers would generate business and fuel the recovery.

“56,000 Jobkeeper recipients lost work when the payments were ruthlessly ended by the Morrison Government. The economy is still recovering and the Government must reinstate JobKeeper for lockdowns, accelerate the vaccine rollout and open quarantine facilities. We need ongoing support for lockdowns, and regulation to control the gig economy and casual employment.