Essential Report

Increasing wages

Dec 13, 2016

Q. Would you approve or disapprove of the following actions to increase the wages of Australian workers?

Q       Total approve Total dis-approve   Strongly approve Approve Dis-approve Strongly dis-approve Don’t know
Increasing the minimum wage 80% 11%   28% 52% 9% 2% 9%
Cutting personal income taxes 71% 17%   25% 46% 14% 3% 12%
Reducing the number of foreign workers on 457 visas 70% 13%   36% 34% 11% 2% 17%
Stronger regulation of labor hire companies 69% 8%   24% 45% 6% 2% 22%
Cutting company taxes so that business invest and give workers pay rises 61% 24%   16% 45% 15% 9% 15%
Giving more power to unions to negotiate pay rises 43% 41%   13% 30% 22% 19% 16%

 

Q       Total approve   Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens Vote other   Work full time Work part time
Increasing the minimum wage 80%   88% 76% 82% 86%   76% 83%
Cutting personal income taxes 71%   74% 74% 61% 72%   78% 62%
Reducing the number of foreign workers on 457 visas 70%   75% 74% 53% 80%   70% 62%
Stronger regulation of labor hire companies 69%   74% 72% 67% 79%   72% 65%
Cutting company taxes so that business invest and give workers pay rises 61%   55% 72% 51% 65%   64% 61%
Giving more power to unions to negotiate pay rises 43%   63% 24% 53% 39%   45% 40%

There was substantial majority agreement with all suggested actions to increase wages – except giving more power to unions to negotiate pay rises (43% approve, 41% disapprove). This was mainly due to strong disapproval from Liberal/National voters (24% approve/64% disapprove).

80% approved of increasing the minimum wage, including at least three-quarters of all voter groups.

There were similar levels of approval of cutting personal income taxes (71%), reducing the number of workers on 457 visas (70%) and stronger regulation of labor hire companies (69%).

Cutting personal income taxes was more favoured by fulltime workers (78%) than part time workers (62%).

83% of part time workers approved increasing the minimum wage.

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