Penalty rates will be the focus of election campaigns today, in lead-up to Easter.
Penalty rates will be the focus of election campaigns today, in lead-up to Easter.

Working over Easter? You’ll lose hundreds

Those missing out on Easter festivities and working through the 10-day break will lose hundreds of dollars thanks to the Government's changes to penalty rates, a cut Bill Shorten has vowed to reverse if he claims victory in next month's election.

The Labor leader says he will scrap the industrial relations changes in the first 100 days in office, and legislate to prevent the decision from being overturned.

Mr Shorten told reporters this morning that low-paid workers in hospitality, retail and pharmacies would lose between $220 and $370 over the 10 days.

"Hundreds of thousands have had their penalty rates cut arbitrarily. They didn't get an increase in the pay Monday to Friday; they just got a cut," he said.

"Penalty rates is not a luxury; we're not America where the penalty rate is an optional tip that you leave on the plate at the end of the performance of the service.

"We believe that the lowest paid workers in Australia, when they give up their time away from their family, when they serve and make sure the rest of us are having a great time, you shouldn't have to pay for it with a cut to your own pay."

The Opposition Leader says workers who rely on penalty rates will have their pay packets cut by varying amounts:

Fast Food: $218.22

Hospitality: $281.78

Retail: $276.55

Pharmacy: $369.41

Restaurant: $225.40

‘The last thing that workers need is another cut to their take-home pay packet.’ Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
‘The last thing that workers need is another cut to their take-home pay packet.’ Picture: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

Labor claims a re-elected Morrison Government will deliver bigger cuts to Sunday penalty rates due to be inflicted on July 1, 2019, and July 1, 2020.

Scott Morrison's eight votes in support of the penalty rate cuts paint a very clear picture for voters, Labor says.

SHORTEN GRILLED ON CLIMATE CHANGE COSTS

Bill Shorten has again failed to answer the question of what his climate change policies will cost the economy.

Asked whether he could provide a "single figure" on the cost of Labor's 45 per cent emissions reduction target, Mr Shorten said the assumption of the question "was not correct".

"Our policy will not cost the taxpayer. The current government is paying billions of dollars in an emissions reduction fund," Mr Shorten said.

"Over time, as companies reduce their carbon emissions, the cost for companies goes down, but every company has a different story and every company has a different approach to doing it. So there is no one mythical figure.

"The problem with answering your question is simply this: your question makes no allowance for the impact of climate change.

"Your question is only part of the equation."

Mr Shorten said the cost to the company would be the same as the government's policy, as it was using the same emissions safeguards mechanism but would also buy international carbon offsets to achieve its higher target.

In a series of press conferences this week, Mr Shorten has failed to explain the costings of his climate change plan.

Labor has a 45 per cent emissions reduction target, while the Coalition has a target of 26-28 per cent in line with the Paris Accord commitment.

 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten talks to workers and at Luna Park in St Kilda. Picture: Kym Smith
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten talks to workers and at Luna Park in St Kilda. Picture: Kym Smith

 

FACEBOOK DEATH TAX CAMPAIGN A LIE: SHORTEN

Labor leader Bill Shorten has attacked a campaign that has been carried on social media suggesting his party will pursue a death tax in government.

The Labor Party has written to Facebook demanding it take action on a widespread campaign spreading lies about a "death tax".

"It is a lie. It is a lie. It is a lie," he told reporters in Melbourne this morning.

"I think the Liberal Party need to be ashamed of themselves using low-rent, American-style fake news which is actually a lie and then trying to scare different communities throughout Australia."

The party believes accounts on the social media platform have been sharing a link to a real press release issued by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in January, alongside claims Labor and the Greens would create a 40 per cent inheritance tax, the Herald Sun newspaper reported.

The Coalition told the newspaper it had no knowledge of the campaign.

 

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten rides the carousel at Luna Park in Melbourne. Picture: Kym Smith
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten rides the carousel at Luna Park in Melbourne. Picture: Kym Smith

 

COALITION TO SPLASH $100 MILLION ON HEALTHCARE

Potentially lifesaving clinical trials will be open to more patients in rural areas thanks to a $100 million funding boost from the PM's party.

The Morrison Government will today announce $100 million for clinical trials in rural, regional and remote areas.

"Clinical trials offer hope for patients where often there hasn't been any," Mr Morrison said.

"We're backing more clinical trials in more places across Australia to tackle life-threatening cancers, diseases and conditions."

The Coalition Government has said it would open a competitive grant round for expressions of interest on October 1 and close the round on November 30.

A peer-review panel selected by Australian Medical Research Advisory Board and the National Health and Medical Research Council would then consider and rank proposals with successful participants to be announced by March 31, 2020, for commencement after July 1, 2020.

The funding will come from the Medical Research Future Fund National Critical Infrastructure initiative and will be delivered over five years from 2020-21.

Mr Morrison said rural patients often spent a lot of time travelling to get the treatment they needed.

"This funding brings the trials to them but it also means more time can be spent at home with loved ones," he said.

 

While Labor’s focus has been on getting patients treated as quickly as possible, the Morrison Government says its cash injection is all about equal access. Picture: Gary Ramage
While Labor’s focus has been on getting patients treated as quickly as possible, the Morrison Government says its cash injection is all about equal access. Picture: Gary Ramage

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the funding was about making sure Australians, no matter their postcode, had access to lifesaving clinical trials.

"This funding builds on the $614 million from the Medical Research Future Fund for clinical trials for rare cancers, rare diseases and unmet needs," he said.

It also builds on the Morrison Government's $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy.

The battle over healthcare has been heated throughout the campaign, with Labor striking first. The Opposition announced a $250 million spending commitment earlier this month, aimed at cutting down hospital waiting times.

The notion was slammed by the Morrison Government, intent on highlighting how Labor planned to finance its ambitious cancer care pledge.



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