Unions push for 5.5pct minimum wage bump

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ACTU secretary Sally McManus says lifting the minimum wage by 5.5 per cent would not be inflationary.

The Fair Work Commission is expected to hand down its decision in the next week on how far to lift the minimum wage, which is currently $20.33 an hour.

The Albanese government submitted that minimum wage workers should receive a raise which is in line with inflation at 5.1 per cent.

Ms McManus said there was no doubt inflation would head above 5.1 per cent, and with productivity at above one per cent the union claim would not be inflationary.

"There's constantly reworked predictions about what inflation will look like. We've tried to make sure that what we put in means that people's real wages aren't going backwards," she told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday.

Ms McManus also labelled industry groups calling for a pay rise to be delayed by several months as "disgraceful".

When asked if soaring energy prices would impact businesses' ability to afford a 5.5 per cent pay increase, Ms McManus said one the biggest problems was consumer spending.

"This is also another reason why you want to make sure that people have got the money they need to be able to spend," she said.

"I'd say that it's a bigger danger to the economy."

Ms McManus also called on the government to deal with the commission, which she said was "shockingly stacked" by the Morrison government.

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