Shorten ‘looks after big business’

The Australian, March 20, 2017

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash has accused Bill Shorten of consistently selling out mum and dad small business operators to look after the interests of big unions and big business as she lashes Labor for its campaign to reverse a cut to Sunday penalty rates.

Senator Cash said the Opposition Leader was defending the interests of big business by backing in enterprise agreement negotiated between unions and corporations that traded away Sunday loadings while opposing reductions to small business costs.

“Small business needs a break,” Senator Cash said. “Small business needs to be able to compete on a level playing field with big business and big unions.”

“If Bill Shorten wants to continue to stand up for big unions and big business as he has done consistently whilst he have been in government — look at the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. He stood with the TWU and big business against mum and dad truck drivers.

“The CFA. He stood with Peter Marshall and the UFU against tens of thousands of Victorian volunteers. In relation to the Australian Building and Construction Commission, he stood for the CFMEU and big business.”

Senator Cash also called on Labor to support the government’s legislation to ban secret deals between employers and unions, saying Mr Shorten should allow the bill to sail through parliament when it is introduced on Wednesday.

“Defend small business on rates”

The Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation, Angus Taylor, says the government must stand up for the interests of small business owners following the industrial umpire’s decision to slash Sunday penalty rates.

He seized on today’s analysis showing that union wage deals with fast-food giants like KFC meant that workers were receiving Sunday penalty rates well below the award – making it much harder for mum and dad café owners to compete.

‘This is a very serious issue,” he told Sky News. “What you’ve got is a little café or retailer competing against a big one and that little café or retailer doesn’t get the benefit of that agreement which is a sweetheart deal done by the unions.”

“I think we need to get in and defend small business,” Mr Taylor said. “They are a core constituency and for good reason, because they are the engine room of our economy.”

“I want us to go hard on supporting small business… They do drive jobs and investment and wealth creation.”

“I think we’ve always been the champion of small business. We just need to stay there and – this government – since 2013 has been a very staunch defender of the interests of small business.”