Business calls to fast-track tax cuts

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 26-Apr-21

The third stage of the federal government’s income tax cuts package is slated to take effect from 1 July 2024. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott says the government should consider bringing forward the tax cuts in order to boost the economy and create jobs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Australian Council of Social Service CEO Cassandra Goldie recently called for the third-stage tax cuts to be dropped, arguing that they will benefit people on high incomes the most.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL OF SOCIAL SERVICE

Parental leave a $5bn earner

Original article by Joe Kelly, Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 26-Apr-21

The Business Council of Australia has called for paid parental leave to be increased to 26 weeks for couples who agree to more equally share the amount of time they take off work. The BCA has also proposed increasing the childcare subsidy for lower-income households from 85 to 95 per cent; it notes that modelling by KPMG suggests that this would boost the economy by about $5bn a year. The BCA contends that the high cost of childcare is deterring many women from returning to the workforce. Some Liberal MPs have urged the federal government to include childcare reforms in the Budget on 11 May.

CORPORATES
BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Rise puts union leader on $470k

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 8-Mar-21

United Firefighters Union secretary Peter Marshall received $470,280 in the 2019-20 financial year, $51,000 up on the previous year. This is according to figures released by the Registered Organisations Commission, with Marshall being Australia’s highest paid union official. Former Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief Mark Stone was paid $506,366 in 2019-20, while Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president George Tambassis received $394,720 and Aged & Community Services Australia secretary Patricia Sparrow received $323,025. It is understood Marshall is paid more than double the amount earned by ACTU secretary Sally McManus and ACTU president Michele O’Neil.

CORPORATES
UNITED FIREFIGHTERS’ UNION OF AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA. REGISTERED ORGANISATIONS COMMISSION, VICTORIAN EMPLOYERS’ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE PHARMACY GUILD OF AUSTRALIA, AGED AND COMMUNITY SERVICES AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, ACTU

Builders slam BCA’s union deal

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 18-Sep-20

Master Builders Australia CEO Denita Wawn has confirmed reports that she left a meeting of the federal government’s industrial relations working group "in disgust" over revelations that the Business Council of Australia had struck a deal with the ACTU. The proposed deal would allow union enterprise agreements to be approved within 14 days; employers had pushed for all agreements to be approved within this time-frame. Wawn has expressed concern that amongst other things, the fast-tracked process for union agreements will favour large companies over small businesses.

CORPORATES
MASTER BUILDERS AUSTRALIA INCORPORATED, BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA, ACTU

Migration, tax reform key to revival

Original article by Geoff Chambers
The Australian – Page: 4 : 24-Aug-20

The Australian Industry Group has urged the federal government to pursue major changes to the nation’s tax system. The employers’ group says long-term tax reform measures should include an overhaul of the goods and services tax, the abolition of mining royalties and replacing fuel excise with road-user charges. It has also called for scheduled personal income tax cuts to be brought forward and business income tax relief to be extended. The AiGroup also wants the migrant cap to be increased, with priority given to skilled migrants.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP

Reform to offset slump in mine jobs

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 6 : 29-Jun-20

The Australian Mines & Metals Association has warned that the coronavirus pandemic could result in the loss of between 24,000 and 48,000 jobs in the resources and energy sector in the absence of any new projects. AMMA CEO Steve Knott argues that this would be offset by $250bn worth of proposed projects in the sector that would create 100,000 jobs by 2026. However, he says the federal government’s industrial relations working group on greenfields agreements must secure backing for a proposal to allow new workplace deals to cover the entire construction phase of new projects. Members of the working group met for the first time on 26 June.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN MINES AND METALS ASSOCIATION (INCORPORATED)

Wage rise an assault on small business

Original article by Ewin Hannan
The Weekend Australian – Page: 3 : 20-Jun-20

Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry CEO James Pearson has criticised the decision to increase the minimum wage at a time when the economy and the labour market have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Australian Industry Group CEO Innes Willox warns that the minimum wage rise of 1.75 per cent will affect hiring intentions at a time when unemployment and underemployment have increased sharply. Professor Mark Wooden is the only member of the Fair Work Commission’s wage panel to have pushed for the minimum wage to be frozen for 12 months.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION

Bearish start to IR reform talks

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 4-Jun-20

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter held the first meeting with representatives of the union movement and employers’ groups on 3 June, as part of a collaborative approach to workplace reforms. He said that both groups appreciate the need for change. Business Council of Australia CEO Jennifer Westacott said employers and unions must be prepared to make compromises, while ACTU secretary Sally McManus said unions are open to changing the ‘better off overall test’. Meanwhile, the Treasury warned that it could take 5-7 years for the economy to recover from the pandemic, and that the unemployment rate could be 8-9 per cent by 2021.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS,BUSINESS COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA,ACTU

Unions reject calls to halt wage increase

Original article by Greg Brown
The Australian – Page: 6 : 1-Jun-20

The Australian Industry Group is against any increase in the minimum wage in 2020, with CEO Innes Willox noting it is the first time in 30 years that it has completely opposed a rise. Willox says increasing the minimum wage is not in anyone’s interest, and if the Fair Work Commission does decide to do so it should be delayed until January 2021. Unions are seeking a $30-per-week increase in the minimum wage, while the Shop, Distributive & ­Allied Employees’ Association states that there should be a freeze on planned cuts to penalty rates if the FWC does not award an increase in the minimum wage.

CORPORATES
THE AUSTRALIAN INDUSTRY GROUP, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, SHOP, DISTRIBUTIVE AND ALLIED EMPLOYEES’ ASSOCIATION

Time ripe for urgent IR repairs: employers

Original article by Ewin Hannan, Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 2 : 19-May-20

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry has proposed five changes to the industrial relations system to create jobs and boost productivity in the post-coronavirus work environment. Amongst other things, ACCI CEO James Pearson has called for employee stand-down provisions to be extended until March 2021, while companies should be permitted to stagger the times at which employees start and finish work without incurring overtime payments. Pearson has outlined his suggestions in a letter to Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF EMPLOYMENT, SKILLS, SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS, ACTU