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30 May 2019

Ombudsman respects independent minimum wage decision

The Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman, Kate Carnell acknowledges the Fair Work Commission’s decision to lift the national minimum wage by 3% to $19.49 per hour and backs the independent process that lead to today’s announcement.

“The Fair Work Commission has acted independently with a panel of experts assessing all relevant viewpoints and information available to them," Ms Carnell said.

“The decision handed down by Commission President Iain Ross was in response to key economic indicators including low inflation and a fall in GDP growth.

“It’s critical that this decision-making process remains independent and is kept out of the hands of politicians or those with a vested interest.

“The decision to pay Australia’s 2.2 million award dependent workers an extra $21.60 per week from July 1 fell well short of the $43 per week the Australian Council of Trade Unions lobbied for, but was also more than the 2% business groups wanted.

“Australia already has one of the highest minimum wages in the world. The increase awarded exceeds inflation and that will impact small businesses, many of which are doing it tough right now.

“But it’s important to respect the independent role of the Fair Work Commission.”