Productivity and Labour Relations Minister Yvonne Henderson today described as a 'cop-out' the Liberals' plan to have Parliament set minimum wage rates for Western Australian workers after a public inquiry.
"Asking people to make submissions on what the minimum wage should be would merely canvass the whole range of public opinion on what constituted a reasonable standard of living - it could go on forever and be totally inconclusive," Mrs Henderson said.
"Under the Liberal plan it would then be up to Parliament to set the minimum standards.
"But the minimum amount of money a family has to live on should not be a political matter - it is too serious a matter to be decided in the hothouse of party politics and vulnerable to use as a political football.
"The Industrial Relations Commission is already established to fairly represent all parties and the public interest in setting minimum wages.
"It has the expertise and the experience to be fair to all and has a long history of being so."
Mrs Henderson said the concept of a public inquiry into the minimum wage was just another attempt by the Liberals to hide their real plans for workers.
"It is a 'cop-out' and a delaying tactic," she said.
"It is as deceptive as saying they do not have the resources to announce full details of their plans.
"The truth is that working families would suffer a significant loss of earnings under Liberal plans for them.
"They are not interested in ensuring a minimum wage but they are not prepared to put their cards on the table and say so.
"Further proof of this is their statement that they would link minimum standards to awards - while they are setting out to destroy awards in the long term.
"That is showing no commitment at all to a minimum wage.
"At the end of the day there would be no awards and no real minimum standards under a Liberal Government."
Mrs Henderson said WA's 764,000 workers had a right to know what their future would be under a future Liberal Government.
She called on the State Liberals to give full details in their policy launch tomorrow, instead of hiding behind the smokescreen of a public enquiry.
"Workers in New Zealand have lost conditions and seen reductions in wages, and we are seeing this trend begin in Victoria.
"That would happen here in WA under a Liberal Government which is not interested in the safety net of minimum conditions."