How will penalty rates play out in the Far North?

A report from the McKell Institute has attracted media attention with particular relevance for the Far North: Seats held by Warren Entsch and George Christensen hit hard by penalty rate cuts

New research suggests the key Coalition-held Queensland electorates of Leichhardt and Dawson will be hit hard by the decision of the Fair Work Commission to cut Sunday penalty rates for workers in hospitality, retail, fast food and pharmacy.

Modelling undertaken by the McKell Institute examining the impact of the penalty rates decision in regional Australia finds the federal seat of Leichhardt, held by the veteran Liberal MP Warren Entsch on a margin of 5.7%, will lose the most in disposable income courtesy of the decision – approximately $21m.

With a response from the business lobby: Regional penalty rate claims ‘flawed’: ACCI

The research has fundamental flaws that damage its credibility and relevance,’ the peak body said. It says the McKell analysis ‘wrongly assumes that no shops, cafes or pubs will open for additional hours following a moderate reduction in Sunday penalty rates’ and deliver more jobs.

Straddling competing claims could be a nasty positon akin to the proverbial barbed wire fence. The business community and Entsch would want to be able to point to expansion of hours and business with increased employment to avoid cynicism.

The McKell report is over here:

Unfair Burden: The Impact of Sunday Penalty Rate Reductions on Regional and Rural Australia

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