Report: workers $2.87 billion worse off under Coalition due to penalty rate cuts

A new report by the McKell Institute investigating the impact of Australia’s two major political parties’ penalty rate policies has found workers would be $2.87 billion worse off under a re-elected Coalition Government than Labor.


The research paper found hospitality workers would receive $837 million less, retail workers would get $1.64 billion less, and pharmacy workers $85 million less.

James Pawluk, Executive Director of the McKell Institute Victoria, said the modelling showed the impact of the difference in policies between the major parties as the federal election looms.

“The majority of this $2.87 billion would be pumped straight back into the economy under Labor’s policy [to restore penalty rates], as those earning Sunday penalty rates are overwhelmingly likely to spend them locally,” he said.

“The primary effect of retaining lower penalty rates would be the transfer of billions of dollars from retail and hospitality workers to business owners and shareholders. There does not seem to be an economic or ethical justification for such a transfer at this time.

“The business lobby groups pushing for lower penalty rates to be retained have argued that it stimulates employment. Yet there is no compelling evidence to suggest that lowering penalty rates has affected employment in the affected sector.”

Read the full report – https://mckellinstitute.org.au/app/uploads/McKell-Fork-in-the-Road-April-26-2019-.pdf

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