Granted, every indication is that Australia’s carbon [dioxide] tax will be but a brief aberration that will disappear into history along with our most unpopular government of all time. That is not to say the tax due to start July 1 is not creating havoc in the meantime. Here’s a couple of pieces with the government and business slogging it out over wages and “carbon tax compensation”:
EMPLOYERS are trying to limit a pay rise for workers on the minimum wage on the grounds they will be “overcompensated” for the new carbon tax.
As the $9 billion tax begins cascading through the economy in higher prices and charges, Julia Gillard yesterday played down the impact on the cost of living and promised she would “not leave working families behind”.
The Australian Industry Group has asked Fair Work Australia to restrict the next rise in the minimum wage to $14 a week, less than the rate of inflation.
The ACTU is demanding a $26-a-week pay rise, and has asked Fair Work Australia to “look through” the government’s carbon tax compensation.
The AI Group argues that the compensation offered by the government to offset the impact of the tax is so generous that the lowest-paid workers should get only a 2.4 per cent pay rise – less than this year’s 3.1 per cent increase in the cost of living. (The Australian)
LABOR has rejected business calls for an upcoming minimum wage rise to be limited on the grounds that many low-income workers will be overcompensated for the effects of the carbon tax.
Workplace Minister Bill Shorten and Climate Change Minister Greg Combet said the government’s carbon tax compensation package should not be a factor in the minimum wage review.
“Business should not use the fact that the government is doing the right thing by Australia’s lowest paid workers as an excuse to do the wrong thing by them,” they said in a statement this morning.
The ministers said the carbon tax compensation should not moderate wage outcomes, nor should the minimum wage review “be used as an avenue for further assistance”. (The Australian)