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Julia Gillard's modern awards=Nigel no-friends.



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Fri, 21st August 2009

Julia Gillard’s modern awards = Nigel no-friends

Mr Steven Ciobo MP Shadow Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors, Tourism and the Arts

Julia Gillard’s bungled awards modernisation has become the Nigel No-Friends of the Australian economy, loathed by small business and now the unions, says Small Business Shadow Minister Steven Ciobo.

Another wheel fell off Deputy Prime Minister Gillard’s awards modernisation crusade again this week, when she caved in to demands from yet another industry sector to be exempted from her friendless awards regime.

“Deputy Prime Minister Gillard said her awards modernisation would disadvantage neither employers nor employees, but we all now that’s just a naïve dream and thousands of jobs in the country’s small businesses will go under her bungled scheme,” Mr Ciobo said.

“We already know the nation’s small businesses are dreading the impact of this thing, wondering how they will be able to retain staff. Now the unions have seen it for what it is - a dreadful, confused mess.”

“Having exempted restaurants from the flawed system, she’s now considering doing the same for the horticulture sector. Where will she draw the line? The first cracks have appeared and now the Deputy Prime Minister is like the boy with her proverbial finger in the dyke.”

Mr Ciobo said while the horticulture sector might have been given some breathing space from the awards regime, there are dozens of other sectors who are equally deserving of a fair go.

“Small retailers will be lumped with increased wage bills of up to 16.5 percent, newsagents’ labour costs will rise by up to 31 per cent and for pharmacies up to 20 per cent. And that’s not disadvantaging employers, how?”

“These aren’t corporations or commercial giants, these are largely small, family-owned businesses. When will the Deputy Prime Minister start listening to their concerns?”