What The Experts Predict The Minimum Wage Increase Will Be Today

Australian businesses say they will struggle to pay wages and bills if the minimum wage is increased by the seven per cent unions are calling for.

The Fair Work Commission will deliver its annual wage review at 10am on Friday which will impact 2.67 million Australians living off the country’s lowest wages.

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Businesses are calling for a 3.5 per cent increase, arguing anything higher will leave them struggling to pay for their expenses and may be forced to lay off staff.

Various predictions have been made on what the increases could be. Westpac economists predict a 4.6 per cent rise, while ANZ experts say there could be a seven per cent nominal increase.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) said there should be a “cautious and calibrated” wage increase of four per cent, compared to the ACTU which is pushing for a seven per cent rise, or about an extra $57 per week for a full-time worker.

ACCI CEO Andrew McKellar said to the ABC the chamber’s suggestion of 3.5 per cent would be “reasonable”.

“We think that’s fair. We think it’s reasonable,” McKellar said.

“We think it is part of the equation to get inflation back under control and ultimately that’s the thing that is going to ensure that those who are most vulnerable in workplaces can begin to lift their living standards again.

“An increase of seven per cent – which is what the ACTU has been arguing for – would add about $14bn of cost back into the supply chain. It would hurt smaller businesses, the ones that are most vulnerable.”

The minimum wage is currently $21.38 per hour or $812.60 for a 38-hour week (before tax).

Whatever is decided by the Fair Work Commission, the changes will come into effect from July 1.

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