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As the Catholic community celebrates the Feast of St Joseph the Worker, Bishop William Brennan, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council, has drawn attention to the importance of the Living Wage Case.

“One of the tests of a just society is the adequacy of the wages of the lowest paid workers.  If people in full time employment are not able to live decently on their wages, we can hardly claim that our economic system is functioning justly”, he said.

“In recent years the Living Wage Case has been an important mechanism for promoting adequate wages for the lowest paid workers.  We are currently waiting for the outcome of the present Living Wage Case.  The Church’s position is that a just wage cannot be anything less than a living wage and that ensuring such an outcome cannot be left entirely to market forces.  We have been arguing that the needs of low paid workers be taken into account in the determination of the minimum wage rather than relying solely on macroeconomic indicators”, he explained.

The full text of Bishop Brennan’s Pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker follows.  Bishop Brennan is currently attending the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference in Sydney.