Gavin R. Putland,  BE PhD

Monday, May 26, 2014 (Comment)

Abbott's plot to circumvent the minimum wage

“People have no right to hold out for the job of their dreams while they are on unemployment benefits,” said Prime Minister Abbott on Saturday. He neglected to mention that if they face a six-month wait for unemployment benefits, they won't even be able to hold out for a job that pays the minimum legal wage. They'll have to take any wage they can get, even if it's illegally low. And they won't be able to dob in the underpaying employers, for fear of not being able to get any more sub-minimum-wage work in future. And if some jobseekers are offering to work for less than the legal minimum, others will have to do likewise in order to compete.

Of course the Government will wax indignant, claiming that it doesn't want employers breaking the law. In that case, why is it pursuing a policy that will keep the lawbreakers supplied with cheap labour?

If Mr Abbott wanted to abolish the minimum wage, he should have taken that policy to the last election.

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