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Tom Elliott slams ACTU over ‘absurd’ push to raise minimum wage

Article image for Tom Elliott slams ACTU over ‘absurd’ push to raise minimum wage

Tom Elliott has slammed an Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) proposal calling for the minimum wage to be lifted.

Currently, the minimum weekly wage is $740.80, but the ACTU wants to see it lifted by four per cent to $810.

3AW’s Tom Elliott says the proposal couldn’t come at a worse time.

“On the day that we learn that the economy could shrink by up to 12 per cent in three months … the ACTU has put out a request for a big increase in the minimum wage,” the 3AW Drive host said.

“If there was ever a time not to stick your hand up and ask for a pay rise, now is it.

“Businesses are going bust everywhere!

“The Institute of Public Affairs put out some figures today … they reckon that if you add up … anybody who is a public servant, anyone who is in receipt of the dole, and anybody who now gets JobKeeper or some other form of government assistance to top up their wage, it’s 72.5 per cent of the working population.

“Basically three quarters of us depend on the government for our money. That is unsustainable. It can’t go on.

“If you want jobs that are sustainable … then you’ve got to support private enterprise.

“Asking for a wage rise at a time when no one is making any money, when businesses are going bust, when lots of jobs are being lost, is absurd.”

Press PLAY below for Tom’s thoughts.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus defended the push to raise the minimum wage, saying increasing funds to the lowest paid will stimulate the economy in tough times.

“This is money to the lowest paid that we know, immediately of course, will get spent in the economy, in local businesses, and we’ve got to see that money circulate,” she said.

“We need to make sure that the lowest paid workers … have money in their pockets to spend because we’re going to depend a lot on domestic consumption and spending.”

But Ms McManus acknowledged a minimum wage hike shouldn’t come at the cost of job.

“Of course we don’t want a decision made at that time that would lead to a loss of jobs,” she said.

Press PLAY below for the full interview.