Bill Shorten's Agenda: Higher Taxes, Fewer Jobs

Bill Shorten has declared war on business and job creation with his promises outlined today to attack small business on a range of fronts.

While the Turnbull Government is delivering for Australian businesses - having secured a tax cut for 3.2 million small and medium businesses that employ over half of Australia’s workforce - Bill Shorten is proudly outlining his plan to wreck the Australian economy and kill jobs.

His contempt for small business is now out of control.

Mr Shorten does not have a single policy to grow the economy, generate jobs or increase wages. He says one thing but does another. He opposes reform after reform, including those that he once supported, because he would rather play politics than deliver anything for Australians.

He said he supported a reduction in the company tax rate, now he opposes it - even though millions of small and medium businesses are already benefiting from the lower taxes delivered by the Turnbull Government.

When it comes to Sunday penalty rates, Mr Shorten has no credibility.

For years, local small businesses have been competing on an uneven playing field against big businesses like Woolworths, McDonalds and KFC, as big businesses have done deals with big unions to slash Sunday penalty rates.

  • A bed and breakfast must pay $10 an hour more than a 5-star hotel;
  • A family chicken shop must pay $8 an hour more than KFC;
  • A family owned takeaway must pay $8 an hour more than McDonalds;
  • A family greengrocer must pay $5 an hour more than Woolworths;
  • A family pizza takeaway must pay $8 an hour more than Pizza Hut;
  • A boutique clothes shop must pay $7 more an hour than David Jones;
  • A family book shop must pay $8 more an hour than Target;
  • A family newsagent must pay $7 more an hour than Officeworks;
  • A family bottle shop must pay $7 more an hour than Dan Murphys;
  • A family hardware store must pay $5 more an hour than Bunnings.

As a union boss, he made an art form out of doing deals which cut or abolished Sunday penalty rates.

When he was National Secretary of the AWU, it did deals covering workers at Target, Big W and Just Jeans, which cut Sunday penalty rates to the same level as the independent Fair Work Commission’s recent decision.

It defies belief that Mr Shorten can maintain his scare campaign, when as a union leader, he himself did deals to reduce penalty rates.

Bill Shorten cannot be trusted on penalty rates.

As Minister for Workplace Relations, he established the Fair Work Commission review that has led to its penalty rates decision – he specifically amended the Fair Work Act to allow penalty rates to be cut. Bill Shorten owns this decision. He set the rules and appointed the umpire. He has repeatedly said he would respect the Commission’s decision on penalty rates.

Bill Shorten and Labor want small business to pay higher taxes, higher electricity bills and uncompetitive penalty rates that big businesses don’t have to pay. That’s unfair for small business and will be disastrous for the economy and jobs.