ACTU media release:

April 13, 2017 Media Releases News

$10 million a day That’s how much workers stand to lose if Turnbull has his way on penalty rates cuts

If the Turnbull Government’s cuts to public holiday pay had been implemented already Australians would lose more than $10 million every public holiday and $30 million in wages over the Easter long weekend.

New estimates by the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) shows at least $10,151,444 would be lost to the Australian workers’ wages every public holiday if Prime Minister Turnbull goes ahead and cuts penalty rates.

ACTU Secretary Sally McManus says working people from the retail, hospitality and fast food industries face crippling cuts to their take-home pay if Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull succeeds with his plan to cut penalty rates and public holiday pay.

The following quotes are attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“$10 million a day is a devastating amount of money to take out of the pockets of working people. This is $10 million that won’t be spent on families and in small businesses and $10 million that won’t be taxed.”

“If Prime Minister Turnbull and his government have their way this will be last Easter working people in retail, hospitality and fast food receive decent penalty rates.”

“Many low paid workers face underemployment, insecure and casual work, short term contracts and non-standard hours; penalty rates must be protected so these people can have fair pay for a decent life.”

“Contrast this with the big end of town, which the Turnbull Government wants to deliver a golden gift in the form of a $24 billion tax cut, and working people know where they stand.”

The following quotes are attributable to ACTU President Ged Kearney:

“When you go out for a drink or meal this holidays, remember that hospitality and foodworkers are making a sacrifice so they can put food on their own tables at home.”

“Prime Minister Turnbull does not appreciate the real-life consequences cutting penalty rates will have on the person who makes him his coffee or sells him a hot cross bun tomorrow. His top priorities are cutting wages and cutting deals to push through a $24 billion tax handout for big corporations.”

“Penalty rates are the difference between poverty and making ends meet for many working people and their families. If Malcolm Turnbull has his way, workers would be $30 million out of pocket this Easter.”

“The lowest-paid workers in the economy will miss out on holidays with family and friends over Easter because they simply cannot afford to take time off.

Lost wages if Penalty Rates decision applied over the Easter long weekend:

ACT $                 527,321
NSW $           10,019,544
NT $                 248,504
SA $             1,551,165
QLD $             7,070,008
TAS $                 292,618
VIC $             8,922,016
WA $             1,467,686
Australia total loss  $          30,098,866

Media contact: Peter Green 0400 764 200 or ACTU Media 03 9664 7315