Penalty rates winners must not be forgotten

For all the breast beating about cuts to penalty rates, we should not forget the significant groups which stand to benefit.

They are:

The unemployed;the working people who want more hours;and the tourists and general public who, particularly in regional areas, often find themselves wandering around like stunned mullets on Sundays trying to find anywhere open to get a coffee or something to eat, and heaven help those who would like to go to a regular retail store.The Sunday snooze is by no means solely a North-West Coast of Tasmania issue.

It is similar throughout regional Australia, including centres as big as Hobart.

By cutting Sunday penalty rates in the retail, hospitality, fast food and pharmacysectors, the Fair Work Commission has reduced, although not ended, the financial deterrents to businesses opening on Sundays.

Thatputs more onus on small businesses to actually make an effort on Sundays.

Some of themwill.

Obviously, that will lead to more work hours.

Largely, those hours will be taken on by existing employees, but we can expect the change to pull many unemployed folk into the workforce as well.

Naturally, workers who end up out of pocket because of the lower rates will be disappointed, and fair enough.

However, unions, politicians and others attacking the decisionare essentially ignoring the needs of unemployed people who will have a better chance of getting a goin paid employment, the employed people who will gain more hours and end up net beneficiaries and the need to provide tourists with a satisfying experience and the rest of us with accessible businesses.

Labor Leader Bill Shorten on Thursday said: “But let me just start by saying today Australian workers have been kicked in the guts byMalcolm Turnbull and his Liberal-National government.”

Later, he said: “Why should an employer think about giving workers pay rises when theFairWorkCommission can be allowed just to reduce people’spay and conditions?”

Now who was it again that set up Fair Work in 2009?

Just quietly, the federal Labor Party.

Dangerous things, independent umpires.

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