In 2007 money wages rose marginally faster than in 2006 but there was no evidence of generalized wage pressures arising from skill shortages. The Reserve Bank raised interest rates twice during the year, further reducing housing affordability. The Fair Pay Commission decision in July temporarily restored the real wages of the lowest paid, but there was further compression of the lower deciles of the wage distribution. With petrol prices continuing to rise, household living standards are under threat, particularly those of workers reliant on the wage adjustment through the Commission whose next decision will not be operational until October 2008. The election of the Labor Government in November led to speculation as to extent to which the Work Choices legislation would be amended.
Journal of Industrial Relations Vol. 50, Issue 3, p. 399-416