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Catholic body urges a better deal for the low paid

The Catholic Church's employment relations body described the $19.00 per week increase to the Federal Minimum Wage announced on Wednesday as just one of many necessary advances for low paid workers.

The Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (ACCER) made a submission to Inquiry that preceded the announcement, stressing the need for workers to live with dignity and be able to provide for their families.

"A worker must not be placed in a position where he or she cannot afford to get married or start a family," the submission said.

ACCER firmly rejected the view that the minimum wage should be based on the needs of a single worker without dependants.

Executive Officer John Ryan referred to the circumstances of people in paid work forced to seek help from welfare agencies.

"In these cases, workers with families on low wages lack the ability to send their children on school camps, to adequately educate, clothe, feed and house their children," he said.

Mr Ryan called on the Federal Government to fund and develop further research so the needs and circumstances of the low paid could be fully identified and properly targeted actions implemented.

"This will provide a basis for an integrated approach to family support policies and minimum wage adjustments," he said.

Catholic body calls for more to be done for the low paid (Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations 6/5/04)

Wage Case Review Needed for Working Poor (Australian Council of Social Service 5/5/04)
Australian Catholic Commission for Employment Relations
Australian Industrial Relations Commission | Safety Net Review
Low paid win $19 wage boost (West Australian 6/5/04)
$19 pay rise for lowest paid workers (ABC Radio PM 5/5/04)
Editorial: Wage case justice (Herald-Sun)
Editorial: Minimum wage, tax and welfare (Sydney Morning Herald 7/5/04)
Wage decision could cost jobs, say employer groups (ABC)

7 May 2004