Will the minimum wage decision help the government?

The industrial relations scare campaign isn’t going so well. Not only are jobs being created at a surprisingly fast rate, but now the Australian Fair Pay Commission has delivered a pay increase for minimum wage workers that nearly equalled what was, presumably, the union ambit claim. ACTU Secretary Greg Combet is describing it as a

a slap in the face for the government and the business community, which had wanted a smaller increase.

It’s certainly bad news for business, which must pay the higher rates, and perhaps some unemployed people who will be priced out of the labour market. But politically it is good news for the government, in the face of persistently negative polling on their reforms

As I noted in several Catallaxy posts, public opinion on the IR reforms has been remarkably stable – people made up their minds very early on, and nothing either side said seems to have produced any real net change. The interesting question now is whether as information contradicting union/ALP scare campaigns mounts it will start to reduce the proportion of voters opposing the reforms.