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ACSJC slates $13 pay rise as 'miserable'

The recent decision by the Industrial Relations Commission to increase the basic wage by only $13 a week is "miserable", according to Dr Tim Battin of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council.

The ACTU had sought an increase of $28, a submission which was backed in principle by the Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations. The increase is, however, higher than the government recommendation of $10 per week.

Dr Battin, a senior lecturer in the school of social science at the University of New England, told The Catholic Weekly that the increase didn't go nearly far enough in addressing the needs of low paid workers.

"They've got less than half of what was being asked," he said. "I thought what was being asked was modest - in great contrast to (Minister for Workplace Relations) Tony Abbott, who thought the claim was extravagant," he said. "$28 a week would have made a difference to someone on $400 (a week) - that would go some way to relieving distress. $13 goes less than halfway."

Dr Battin rejected the claims by economists and employer groups that the increase will lead to unemployment and slow economic growth.

"There is an international pool of literature which directly challenges the notion that a higher minimum wage will lead to unemployment," he said.

Catholic Weekly