Business

Battle begins over Fair Work

BUSINESS and industry groups have urged Fair Work Australia to show restraint in lifting the minimum wage in light of the welfare measures included in last week's Federal Budget.

In post-budget submissions to FWA's annual wage review, each of the groups argued that increases to Family Tax Benefit Part A payments, a tripling of the tax-free threshold to $18,200, tax cuts and the introduction of the SchoolKids Bonus would have the effect of boosting the incomes of low-paid workers. 

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland argued this needed to be weighed up against the challenges facing businesses.

"CCIQ strongly urges Fair Work Australia to consider the additional support being provided to low income earners in the coming financial year, measured against the precarious position of many businesses who are faced with a significantly diminishing capacity to absorb the continuing increase in business costs," CCIQ advocacy general manager Nick Behrens wrote.

"CCIQ maintains our position that an increase to the federal minimum wage above that supported by award reliant businesses will jeopardise the performance of the economy and reduce the ability of these employers to employ and retain staff, especially in light of promised businesses initiatives (i.e. the cut in the company tax rate) not being delivered."

In its initial submission to the wage review CCIQ urged FWA to "implement an increase to the minimum wage that is substantially less than $9 per week, preferably no increase until such time when businesses are better placed to afford it and remain viable".

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Australian Industry Group and Australian Business Industrial echoed those sentiments.

"An estimated 1.5 million families will now receive two cash grants per year totalling $820 (for each secondary school child) and $410 (for each primary school child)," the AIG wrote in its submission, referring to the SchoolKids Bonus," AIG wrote.

"This will deliver an extra $2.1 billion to families over the next four years. This will significantly raise disposable incomes of lower-income households and is clearly relevant to an assessment of the extent to which minimum wages should be raised to address the needs of the low paid.

"While some families were previously eligible to an equivalent tax deduction, the untied, cash-in-hand nature of the new arrangements mean they are more widely available and more generous for most households."

The AIG proposes a $14-per-week increase to both minimum award wages and the national minimum wage.

In its initial submission the ACCI asked the wage review panel to "consider any increase on an award-by-award basis and grant an increase of not more than $9.40 per week to modern award minimum wage classifications and to the national minimum wage".

The groups were highly critical of the Federal Government's decision to abandon the 1% cut to the company tax rate, arguing this will place further strain on already stretched businesses and negate the positive effects of the loss carry-back measures announced in the Budget.

The money saved in scrapping the company tax relief instead will be paid to families.

In other post-budget submissions to the review the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Catholic Council for Employment Relations each urged FWA not to be influenced by the increases to welfare contained in the budget.

The ACTU has called for a 3.8% increase for most award-reliant workers, and an increase of $26 per week to the minimum wage.

"We submit that the panel should not reduce the amount of any increase in minimum wages on account of the increase in the disposable incomes of some low-paid households that will arise from the Budget," the ACTU wrote.

In its post-budget submission the Federal Government wrote that "any increase to the national minimum wage and award wages ... reflect changes in living costs and other changes in the economic environment since the last minimum wage rise in 2011".

Topics:  actu cciq fair work australia federal budget 2012


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Youth of the Year full of smiles

DESERVING: Whitsunday Lions' Betty Wilson, Georgia Summerfield, Youth of the Year Crispian Yeomans, Blake Farmer and Whitsunday Youth of the Year chairman Gloria Demartini at the awards ceremony at the VMR club last night.

Crispian Yeomans was visibly chuffed by his awards

Evening of pure hope

IN MEMORY: Equifest will host a fundraising evening in honour of Billie Kinder.

Equifest supports the Kinder family.

Funnel Bay leaps another step

PROGRESS: Sales consultant Darryl Brewer and Michelle Levett with project manager Christie Leet at Funnel Bay.

Funnel Bay is proceeding at a rapid pace.

Local Partners

5

Get involved with the most popular activities in the Whitsundays.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Messing with your head

MIND BLOWN: What could be weirder than the realisation that we have another completely separate brain and nervous system than the one originating in our heads?

Fascinating connection between your gut and your brain

Sir Elton John coming to Mackay: What you need to know

Sir Elton will come to Mackay and Cairns in September.

Tickets to the concert go on sale on March 14

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

A Whitsundays honeymoon for TV star

LOVED UP: Former Home and Away star Esther Anderson and her new husband Howard Moggs in the Whitsundays.

A former Home and Away star has hit up the Whitsundays

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!