How have we landed in this mess?
Three figure receipts from grocery shops have become normal. Full-time workers have joined the huge numbers of Australians struggling to find housing. And every time the numbers tick up at the petrol pump, you’re reminded why oil is called ‘black gold’.
Actually, we already know how we’ve landed in this mess. It’s profiteering: excess corporate profits are the main driver of how much extra everyday items cost.
Despite this, CEOs and business lobbyists like to point at the mining sector as an exception and say that’s where all the price hikes are happening. But recent research from The Australia Institute debunks this.
Sign our petition demanding a 7% increase to the minimum wage
Inflation is no accident
Other than a few industries still recovering from lockdowns (such as hospitality and the arts) non-mining industries’ profits are going strong.
"Since end-2019, businesses across the non-mining portion of Australia’s economy have increased the prices they charge consumers above and beyond the costs of their own inputs,” states The Australia Institute report.
“Those excessive price increases have contributed incrementally to inflation, and further skewed the distribution of income away from workers and toward businesses and their owners.”
Or to put it bluntly: major corporations have pumped up prices to rake in more of your money.
These corporate giants then pretend they’re not intentionally lining their pockets with your wages. Instead, they throw up their hands and say innocently, “Well, who could have predicted this!”
And don’t be fooled by the news that the latest inflation figures have dropped: working people are still under intense cost-of-living pressures after 10 interest rate rises.
And if this all wasn’t cruel enough already, major corporations then turn around and refuse to lift wages for their lowest paid workers.
Yes, that’s right. Major corporations have a long track record of refusing to increase the minimum wage, no matter how good their profits have been.
Where does that leave workers on minimum wage?
Once a year, the Annual Wage Review is a chance for union members to convince the Fair Work Commission to lift minimum wages.
When it comes to necessities like housing, even workers on decent incomes are struggling to secure a roof over their heads. That means workers who rely on the minimum wage and Award wages are in an even worse position.
With no signs of prices for basic items easing anytime soon, Australia’s lowest paid workers need a seven per cent increase to their wages. Especially when many of these employees work for the same companies who have been price-hiking to bulk up profits.
Unlike massive profits, an increase to the minimum wage would have a negligible impact on inflation, according to the latest research from The Australia Institute. So, yes, companies can afford the seven per cent increase.
Working people need a lifeline. Union members’ demand for a seven per cent increase to minimum wage is what is needed to keep heads above water.
The real reason why everything suddenly became so expensive