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609 WordsSep 12, 20153 Pages
Lower wages 'deliver jobs' Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive officer Kate Carnell has long argued that the reduction in Sunday penalty rates will "will deliver new jobs". "We have 280,000 under-25s that are out of work and it is becoming an intractable figure," Carnell says. The Restaurant and Catering Industry Association has submitted results from a national telephone survey of 1000 restaurant and cafe owners it commissioned from Jetty Research. Conducted between April 22 and May 4, it found 1. 9 per cent of respondents opened on Sundays or public holidays, mainly "to keep customers happy" or because it was a busy and profitable day. When asked directly, 51 per cent of respondents believed opening on Sundays and public holidays made them more profitable overall. Almost a quarter said it made them less profitable, and 19 per cent said it made no difference. More than half the respondents said they would employ more staff if penalty rates were reduced, and 42 per cent said they would open additional hours. The businesses who said they would take on extra staff would employ around three per day. And of those who said they would open extra hours if penalty rates were reduced, the average number of extra hours was 5.07 per day. Greens industrial relations spokesman Adam Bandt has vowed to campaign against any cut to penalty rates, saying it would be a "body blow" to young workers. "With housing prices so high and wages growing so slowly, young people working in retail and hospitality depend on penalty rates to support themselves and make ends meet," he says. Shadow employment minister Brendan O'Connor also argues that cutting penalty rates is "unfair". He says the Fair Work Commission, and not government, is best placed to determine any changes. Even so, he says Prime Minister Tony Abbott should rule out support for penalty-rate

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