Labor leader Bill Shorten’s announcement that his party would look to boost the minimum wage has been rejected by Printing Industries, which says it will have a negative effect.
While the opposition party has not given any specific figures on what the increases may be, the current minimum wage nationally is $18.29 per hour or $694.90 per week before tax.
Printing Industries notes that nearly half of small business owners in Australia already earn less than the minimum wage, and says the proposed increase are an attack on small businesses, which represent a significant part Australian businesses, and the printing industry.
Andrew Macaulay, CEO, Printing Industries, says, “It is not unusual for a small print business owner to be earning the same or seasonally less than some of their better paid staff. This is diverting assets away from an incentive to invest in business. When small business is looking to invest in productivity, this will encourage further automation of production processes.
“The industry tends to pay above average. Printing Industries does not believe the minimum wage should be touched.
“The point is that this proposed increase substantially impacts the ability of a small business to remunerate for performance, to be flexible in workplace arrangements, to find deals that suit employee and employer.
“It means less employment. Creating an artificial minimum wage means a business owners finds more efficient ways of production without labour.
"From what we see and hear, many small businesses in our industry are already having a tough time of it in an environment of soaring electricity prices and ever-increasing compliance costs. This increase could be the end of many of them.
"And the potential impact is far reaching; the recent positive uplift in business confidence and the potential for economic growth will soon reverse if small to medium businesses across Australia can not afford to employ.”
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