Sunday workers to lose $6,000 per annum

Last week, when the Fair Work Commission handed down its decision to reduce Sunday penalty rates by up to 25%, the headline response from the ACTU (Ged Kearney) and the ALP (Mark Dreyfus) was that this would result in a loss of up to $6,000 per annum for affected workers. This claim should not go unchallenged. Intuitively one can tell immediately that it is an exaggeration. For a 25% reduction in Sunday pay to result in a $6,000 loss, the worker’s pay would need to have been reduced from $24,000 to $18,000. A person working 8 hour shifts, and working for 45 weeks of the year would work a total of 360 hours. At the reduced pay of $18,000 this equates to $50 per hour. Workers affected by the

Prinicpals Encourage Boys to Disrespect Women

From The Australian on 20th February 2017: “The Hurstville Boys Campus of Georges River College in Sydney recently hosted an awards ceremony at which female presenters, including several accomplished and respected members of the local community, were told by one of the school’s two principals that some students would not shake their hands because of their Muslim faith.” I think this is a serious error of judgement. It sends a message to these young men that women are inferior and may be treated with disrespect.

Closing the Gap: Empowering Communities

Indigenous disadvantage persists. The gap is not closing. In many communities, children are not getting an education, health is poor and life expectancy is low. There is a lot of drug abuse and violence, employment opportunities are few or non-existent and there is an entrenched culture of welfare dependence. Although Indigenous Australians represent only 3 per cent of the population, they represent over 27 per cent of the prison population and this is rising – up from 20 per cent a decade ago. Social policies for Indigenous Australians have not delivered positive outcomes, despite all the good intentions and the millions of dollars being spent over the past fifty years. It is time we admitt

A Message for Politicians Returning to Work

While you have been away, a lot has changed. President Trump is implementing what he promised to do. That is a novelty that you might like to emulate. Some of his key policies will require changes in Australia too. They are going to take bipartisan support. So, this is a message for you all. Firstly, he is planning to reduce personal and corporate taxes. We will need to review ours too. To compete for talent and capital we cannot be too far out of kilter with the rest of the world. The policies that the Coalition took to the election are already out-of-date. If the USA has a corporate tax rate of 15%, a promise to reduce ours to 25% in ten years’ time is never going to be competitive. Second

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Peter Francis Fenwick       Writer      Melbourne     Australia