Australian Economy

Australians back minimum wage rise as Morrison’s lead on economy softens

“The way wages go up is when you get unemployment down and get businesses that are able to earn more so they can afford and pay higher wages,” he said while campaigning in the marginal Victorian seat of Corangamite.

“I want to see wages go up. I want to see the minimum wage go up. Of course I do.”

Morrison attacked Albanese last week, however, for supporting a 5.1 per cent increase in the minimum wage and said it was a “thoughtless” contribution because it would fuel inflation and feed through to higher costs at the supermarket and have an impact on jobs.

“What he said yesterday puts a chain reaction in place. Dominoes fall that lead to higher interest rates and higher costs of living,” Morrison said on Wednesday of last week.

While the prime minister has softened his language on the wage hike in recent days, Albanese repeated his argument in a speech to the National Press Club on Wednesday by saying again he “absolutely” backed the higher rate.

The Resolve Political Monitor surveyed 1649 people on questions of policy from Thursday to Tuesday to produce findings with a margin of error of 2.5 per cent.

Morrison and the Coalition held a clear lead over Albanese and Labor when voters were asked who they thought was best to manage the economy, with 40 per cent naming the government and 30 per cent naming the opposition.

But the gap between the two sides on this measure has narrowed to 10 percentage points from 19 in the middle of April and 15 at the end of April.

Asked which leader and party was best to manage jobs and wages, 32 per cent named Morrison and the Coalition while 38 per cent said Albanese and Labor.

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The latest Resolve Political Monitor, which showed a swing against Labor, also asked voters to name the most important issues for them at the election.

The biggest issue was keeping the cost of living low, an option chosen by 25 per cent of voters, followed by the environment and climate change, chosen by 14 per cent, and economic management and recovery, chosen by 13 per cent.

The issue of jobs and wages was chosen by 10 per cent of respondents in the latest survey, up from 5 per cent who chose it in the Resolve Political Monitor in the middle of April.

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