New financial year marks 'dark day' for business: CCIQ


Businesses will be hit by multiple cost increases come July 1 with the phasing in of new modern awards

New financial year marks 'dark day' for business: CCIQ
New financial year marks 'dark day' for business: CCIQ
June 30, 2010

The state’s business community will be hit by multiple cost increases come July 1 with the phasing in of new modern awards, according to Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).

President David Goodwin says from tomorrow, Queensland businesses will face major changes to the way they operate.

"Queensland employers are facing up to at least eight major cost challenges with massive increases simultaneously taking place across multiple aspects of business," Goodwin says.

On top of an already costly operating environment, he says business has been made significantly more difficult with a $26 minimum wage increase and further wage, penalty and allowance increases.

This is in addition to a 13 percent increase in workers compensation premiums; 13.3 percent increase in electricity prices; at least 10.7 percent increase in water prices; and other significant increases in council rates, motor vehicle registration fees and road tolls.

These compare to a Treasury forecasted consumer price index (CPI) increase for Queensland of just 3 percent for 2010-11.

JOB LOSSES

While in some cases businesses will be able to pass on part of these cost increases to the consumer or absorb part of it, Goodwin warns many employers will be forced to cut jobs.

"CCIQ believes this is totally unacceptable and we are today proposing that stricter parameters need to be set up across all of Government limiting combined cost increases to business to less than forecasted CPI for the forthcoming year," he says.

"Under this approach some increases will be higher than CPI, some will have to be lower, but on average they can collectively not exceed CPI. This approach will require two independent umpires, one State and one Federal to have the final say on any increase."

Although business owners are being encouraged to be fully aware of tomorrow’s changes, CCIQ is urging the government to "radically change" the overall system of determining costs.

"A whole of Government solution is the only approach that can ensure that the above situation of across the board cost increases to business can never occur again," Goodwin adds.

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