Minimum wage rise another blow to small business

The 3.75% increase to the minimum wage announced this week by the Fair Work Commission is another blow to small businesses already struggling with rising costs and falling revenue.  

While few would argue against a minimum wage rise in Labor’s cost-of-living crisis, most small businesses already paid their employees above the minimum rate.  

Small business is the engine room of the Australian economy, and they’re doing it tougher than ever before. Small business costs such as insurance, rates, security, rent and electricity are going through the roof. 

These are compounding the loss of revenue small businesses are experiencing as consumers reduce their spending in this cost-of-living crisis, and their losses from increasingly brazen youth crime. 

Most of these businesses understand the value of skilled employees and pay well above the minimum wage to retain them. Truth be told, only 184,000 people in Australia are on the minimum rate of $23.23 per hour. 

This is yet another cost increase imposed on small businesses by Labor, which has already substantially increased the red tape compliance burden from 1 July while also putting in place measures which make it too risky for small business to employ the casual labour they rely upon.  

We’re not arguing against a minimum wage increase in this cost-of-living crisis. We’re arguing that small businesses across Australia need their other costs and reporting burdens minimised so they can accommodate this increase while still be able to do what they do best: make money and create jobs in their local communities. 

We’re seeing too many small businesses – particularly in retail, hospitality and construction – having to close because of a tsunami of increasing costs. With small business employing more than 40% of all Australians, we need to be supporting their sustainability rather than putting more of these jobs at risk with higher costs imposed by governments.