July 2018 | Penalty rates cuts 'devastating', parliamentary inquiry finds

Date: 24 July 2018

Source: The Age

Cuts to weekend penalty rates have hit Victorian women and regional workers hardest, threaten the state’s economic growth and have not created any more jobs, according to a Parliamentary report.

The State Parliament’s Penalty Rates and Fair Pay Select Committee was scathing of the effects of the cuts to Sunday penalty rates for retail and hospitality workers that began in July 2017, saying the reductions hurt the most vulnerable workers and had not achieved their stated goals.

But Opposition MPs on the committee attacked the inquiry as a waste of taxpayers’ money designed to help the Labor Party attack the Turnbull government’s industrial relations policies.

The committee’s final report, published on Tuesday, argues there is little or no evidence that the promised benefits of the cuts – more jobs and more hours for retail and hospitality workers – have materialised.

Instead, the committee’s chairwoman Labor MP Gabrielle Williams wrote, the reductions had hurt the standard of living of up to 147,000 workers in Victoria, particularly young employees and women.