Wage bid ‘war’ on firms

The West Australian, February 1 2018

The small business ombudsman has hit back at Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s pursuit of a living wage rather than a minimum wage, saying an increase would be a “devastating blow” to small firms.

“Lets be quite clear this proposal is a war on small business, not big business,” the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell said yesterday.

“Mr Shorten in his first major speech of the year on Tuesday, argued the minimum wage was no longer a living wage and said the present system of slow, incremental increases was seeing too many working people fall behind.

Ms Carnell said nearly half of small business owners already earned less than the minimum wage and for those people, an increase in awards would mean job losses, limited employment opportunities and businesses closing