Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce president Martin Hall said a proposed “living wage” disregards the reality that Australia already one of the highest minimum wage rates in the world. Mr Hall said that if Australia has the highest minimum wages in the world, there will be almost no employers willing to put on workers.
Hall said that small businesses are the predominant type of business in Australia, and many owners of small businesses take home less than their employees each week while at the same time carrying all of the financial risk. “The Gold Coast is the small and microbusiness capital of Australia. In Queensland businesses with less than 20 employees provide the largest number of the state’s jobs (44%) and medium size businesses employ between 20 and 200 (23%), so together SMEs make up two-thirds of all jobs.”
ABS statistics on business counts in Queensland show that business survival rates over five years to 2018 were 63%, with a 53% survival rate over that time for new businesses. ABS statistics show average incomes in Queensland have fallen in sectors that were most affected by the consecutive rises in the minimum wage. “This is particularly the case in the retail sector, where average hours of work has fallen in line with rises in average hourly incomes,” said Mr Hall.