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Catholic lobbyists welcome new debate on wages policy

The group PolMin has welcomed the new debate on wages policy initiated by the introduction of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Protecting the Low Paid) Bill 2003 into the House of Representatives last week.

"The importance of the Bill is that it requires the whole community to engage in a debate on the nature of wages policy in Australia," said James McGillicuddy, coordinator of the Australian Political Ministry Network.

"Guided by [Catholic Social Teaching's] principle of Distributive Justice - the distribution of the goods of society according to the persons needs - we can say that the notion of specifically identifying the needs of the low paid workers as opposed to a simplistic collectivist notion that all should receive the same level of wages, is a step in the right direction.

"The principle of Distributive Justice also underpins the Just Remuneration principle upheld by the United Nations. Justice in this instance is ensuring a persons particular needs are satisfied.

"PolMin calls on all Federal Parliamentarians to consider the issue and progress wages policy in Australia", Mr McGillicuddy concluded.


Workplace Relations Amendment (Protecting the Low Paid) Bill 2003
Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
A Just Wage or Just a Wage: The Importance of a Living Wage for the Eradication of Poverty in Australia (Catholic Welfare Australia)

18 Feb 2003