CUTS TO PENALTY RATES TO HURT LO­CAL BUSI­NESSES

Hills to Hawkesbury Living Magazine - - Memories And Macquarie - by Su­san Tem­ple­man - FED­ERAL MEM­BER FOR MAC­QUARIE

We all want to see more jobs cre­ated lo­cally. Un­for­tu­nately, the de­ci­sion to cut penalty rates for hospi­tal­ity, re­tail, fast­food and phar­macy work­ers is look­ing like it will be­come a text­book case of “un­in­tended con­se­quences”, where some­thing de­signed to boost em­ploy­ment ends up hurt­ing lo­cal busi­nesses and jobs.

It’s been widely re­ported that the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is sup­port­ing the Fair Work Com­mis­sion’s move to cut Sun­day, pub­lic hol­i­day and late night penalty rates. What they don’t seem to un­der­stand is that not only will this money come out of the pock­ets of fam­i­lies who are al­ready work­ing Sun­days and night shifts to make ends meet, but each dol­lar taken from our work­ers is a dol­lar the Hawkes­bury econ­omy will not see.

The weekly pay cut is up to $77 for around 10,500 work­ers in this elec­torate of Mac­quarie; which means, $800,000 less to spend ev­ery week. And that equals $42 mil­lion in a year in Mac­quarie alone.

Low­er­ing peo­ple’s in­comes won’t lower the cost of liv­ing: rent won’t get cheaper, gro­ceries won’t cost less, and elec­tric­ity bills cer­tainly won’t go down.

The peo­ple be­ing paid less will have less dis­pos­able in­come to spend in restau­rants, cafes, beauty sa­lons or home­wares and cloth­ing shops. This is where our lo­cal busi­nesses will be­gin to hurt.

And while this de­ci­sion af­fects a small num­ber of awards, there are al­ready new re­views planned to cut penalty rates for hair­dressers, aged care work­ers, café work­ers, restau­rant staff and work­ers in reg­is­tered clubs.

Our com­mu­ni­ties will suf­fer so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally if penalty rates are cut, but it isn’t too late to turn this de­ci­sion around.

If you would are go­ing to be im­pacted by the cut to penalty rates as ei­ther an in­di­vid­ual or as a busi­ness and want to do some­thing about it, please get into con­tact with my of­fice:

Email: su­san.tem­ple­man.mp@aph.gov.au

Phone: 1300 519 482 or (02) 4573 8222

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