ACTU wage claim shirtfronts small business & slams the door on jobseekers

19 Apr 2018 |

The ACTU’s claim that a 7.2% minimum wage rise will create tens of thousands of new jobs shirtfronts the small business people who would need to fund such a massive pay boost, and slams the door on jobseekers and people wanting more hours of work, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO, James Pearson, said today.

“The ACTU is demanding what would likely be the largest single increase in minimum wages for at least 40 years,” Mr Pearson said.

“To suggest that increasing one of the world’s highest minimum wages by more than three times the rate of inflation is going to generate jobs is absurd.

“How can increasing the wages bill solve the problems of a small business already struggling to generate enough trade to make it worth opening their doors?

Unions want to impose this extraordinary rise in the cost of jobs as more than 700,000 Australians are looking for work, a further 1.1 million are looking for more hours of work, and more than one in five young people are unemployed in many areas.

“A massive increase in wage costs will not create jobs – it will put at risk existing jobs, as businesses decide who they will have to let go in order to afford the huge pay rise, or whether or not they can afford to stay open,” Mr Pearson said.

“The only jobs it’s likely to create are those in other countries, whose businesses will step in to supply the goods and services that Australian companies can’t afford to.

The academic research that unions rely on to justify their massive ambit wage claim is not only hotly contested and embryonic, it comes from economies and labour markets entirely different from Australia’s.

“Employees working in small businesses usually have a pretty good idea of how the firm is travelling, how many clients they have and how much money is coming through the door.

“They understand better than most that the people they work for, and work beside every day, cannot afford the steep increase in pay the ACTU demands. “

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