The St Vincent de Paul Society says low-income workers and income support recipients should not be expected to carry the burden of lowering inflation by living in increasing poverty while company profits and executive salaries move ever higher.
The charity responded to comments last week by Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe that seemingly argued against wage increases for workers to help them cope with the surging cost-of-living.
“Australians are experiencing a collapse in real wages and income payments at a time of unprecedented inflation,” the society’s national president Claire Victory said.
“Far too many Australians are finding it impossible to make ends meet as the spiralling cost of everyday essentials — such as housing, food and fuel — push them into disadvantage and poverty.
“Our members are reporting a spike in the number of people asking for assistance — many are coming to us for the first time, and a growing number of working Australians are seeking urgent help to survive as their wages fail to keep pace with inflation,” Ms Victory said.
Real wages have not kept up with the surging cost-of-living and are not a significant contributor to the current inflation crisis.
“It is unfair to expect Australian workers and income support recipients to carry the burden of lowering inflation by living increasingly impoverished lives, particularly as company profits, which make a much more sizable contribution to inflation, soar and higher executive salaries — including that of the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor — affront our sense of fairness and equality,” Ms Victory said.
“We urge leaders in the public and private sectors to engage the community in a conversation about what is needed to address poverty and create a fairer Australia.”
The burden of lowering inflation must be shared (St Vincent de Paul Society)