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Monday, 4 December 2017
Page: 9433


Senator LEYONHJELM (New South Wales) (10:38): I oppose Labor's amendment. It prevents a regulated penalty rate from being reduced—ever. So, in the wisdom of Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team, the penalty rates in force from 30 June 2017 are perfect for all time. I would like to pose a quiz to Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team, and I will make it multiple choice. What is the perfect Sunday penalty rate for hospitality workers: 150 per cent, 175 per cent, 200 per cent or 225 per cent? The correct answer is 175 per cent. Let's try again. What's the perfect Sunday penalty rate for retail workers: 150 per cent, 175 per cent, 200 per cent or 225 per cent? The correct answer is 200 per cent.

We have a recent example of a country where democratically-elected politicians did the electorally popular act of putting a floor on wages and a cap on prices. It is called Venezuela. A country that should be one of the richest in the world is now filled with untold misery, where the price of bread is regulated but there is no bread for sale, and wages are regulated at generous levels but great swathes of the population are unemployed. Socialist price-fixing may be popular but it is the most irresponsible thing you could do. Senators planning to support this recommendation should hang their heads in shame.