WACOSS has welcomed the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission’s $40.90 increase to the state minimum wage today as a step in the right direction to respond to rapidly rising living costs in WA.

The decision is slightly above the 5.2% increase in the national minimum wage, but still well below the 7.6% CPI increase experienced by WA households.

WACOSS CEO Louise Giolitto said today’s increase to the state minimum wage was a timely and necessary response to challenging times.

“Today’s increase to the state minimum wage of $40.90 means that for minimum wage workers in WA their wages are catching up a bit, but are still lagging behind the rising cost of living,” Ms Giolitto said.

“While we are pleased to see that the WA Industrial Relations Committee has increased the state minimum wage slightly above the national minimum wage rise of 5.2% in recognition of the economic conditions here in WA, it is disappointing to see that wages here are still more than two per cent below CPI.

“The increase is a prudent first step, but the WAIRC will need to monitor rising essential living costs carefully, and expect to make another significant increase next year if prices continue to rise as the Reserve Bank Governor is predicting.

“While WA’s economy ranks third in the nation overall and tops the nation on relative economic growth and unemployment, wages growth in WA remains the lowest in the country at just two per cent.

“Alongside an increase in real terms to the State minimum wage, WACOSS would like to see adequate indexation offered on State Government contracts to frontline community services.

“While frontline workers absolutely need a wage rise, we also need to ensure that the provision of critical community services is not put at risk by State and Federal Governments failing to match the increased cost of providing services to the most vulnerable in our community.”

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Tim Oliver – 0431 9696 25

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