Median household disposable income went backwards between 2009 and 2017 according to new data from the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) Survey, released this morning.
The survey shows households incomes are standing still as Australian workers grind towards seven years without a real pay increase.
The Morrison Government has made no effort to alleviate this crisis in wages and household income because low wage growth is a “design feature” of their Government.
Being a union member improves quality of life for working people through pay increases and eliminating wage theft. Data from the ABS shows that union members earn on average $171 per week more than non-union workers in their main job.
The Government is currently trying to pass the Ensuring Integrity Bill, which will make it even harder for working people to win decent pay rises and to stop exploitation.
As noted by ACTU Secretary Sally McManus
“Household incomes are standing still because working people haven’t had a real pay rise since the Coalition government came to power. This means living standards have not improved for a decade.
“This is a government who actively works to keep wages low. It has designed the system this way by making the job of unions, which is to make wages go up, as hard as possible while cutting penalty rates, opposing minimum wage rises and holding down the wages of their own staff.”
“The Morrison Government’s legacy will be the worst period of economic stagnation for households in recent memory.
“When the government sides with employers to keep wages low, the only way to combat it is to join your union and stand together because this increases bargaining power.”