Palaszczuk Government Should Heed Private Sector Concerns on Wages: CCIQ

Wednesday 20 March, 2019 | By: Dan Petrie

The Palaszczuk Government’s call for a 3.5% increase in the minimum wage stands in contrast to industry and business associations who have advocated for a 1.8% increase in the minimum wage reflecting the challenging economy currently faced by small to medium sized enterprises across the state.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes that while Industrial Relations Minister, Grace Grace has highlighted the importance of workers in key industries as part of the engine room of the economy it is equally important to balance the pressures facing the state’s 448,000 small businesses.

CCIQ Head of Industry, Dan Petrie said “the small business sector employs the bulk of workers in the state and the inability of many enterprises to absorb increased costs needs focus from policy makers as well.

“The majority of small business owners will again tighten spending if a third consecutive 3%+ wage increase is passed into law, exacerbating the already high level of cost pressure many organisations are currently experiencing,’ Mr Petrie said.

CCIQ observes that the state’s unemployment rate at 6.1%, the introduction of multiple levies and taxes in the last 18 months and subdued economic outlook are key considerations that need to be taken into account when assessing the minimum wage.

“Aged care providers, disability groups, and small businesses are at the forefront of the local economy and are already operating on thin margins,” Mr Petrie said. 

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