Inequality always around us, says senator

September 13, 2017

The ACTU says inequality is at its highest level in 70 years and low-paid workers need a pay rise.

Australia is at risk of becoming a society of working poor unless people are given a pay rise, the country's peak union body has warned.

An ACTU report has found inequality is at its highest level in 70 years, with the number of workers on minimum wage up from 15.2 per cent in 2010 to 23.9 per cent in 2016.

The report says the top 10 richest Australians have more than $77 billion between them, while workers share of national income is at its lowest level in over 50 years.

ACTU secretary Sally McManus called on the Turnbull government to ensure companies and individuals pay their fair share of tax and stop targeting unions.

"Pay rises are at record lows, workers are getting a record low share of national income, jobs are being casualised, penalty rates cut and wage theft is a business model," Ms McManus said.

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