'Malcolm can you live on $600?': Spotlight worker slams PM over cuts to penalty rates

Natasha Christian

A Western-Sydney Spotlight employee has broken down while sharing some powerful words for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, after learning she stands to lose $80 a week from her $600 paycheck.

Evelyn Kathner spoke at a press conference with Labor leader Bill Shorten following the Fair Work Commission decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates.

The decision affects retail, fast-food, hospitality and pharmacy employees.

Ms Kathner spoke candidly about her personal situation.

“I work at Spotlight in Campbelltown, I earn $600 a week... and I stand to lose $80.

Evelyn Kathner called on Prime Minister Turnbull to try walking in her shoes. Photo: 7 News.

“Could anybody do the maths on how much they have to spend on their groceries, on their rent, on their water, on their Internet?

WHAT THE PENALTY RATES CUT MEANS FOR YOU: How hospitality, pharmacy, retail and fast-food workers will be affected.

Ms Kathner said it was low paid workers who were 'picked on every time'. Photo: AAP

“I am sure it is going to come way above $600. $80 is a huge amount.

“I am telling you, the truth is this is no longer the lucky country.

Ms Kathner said it was the “ones that cannot afford it” who “get picked on every time”.

The Prime Minister has indicated the government will accept the decision. Photo: AAP

She asked the Prime Minister to put himself in her shoes.

“Malcolm Turnbull, can you live on $600? Try it.”

On Thursday Bill Shorten spoke out against the decision to cut penalty rates, deeming it as appalling for low paid workers.

“It is true to say we do respect the commission but we do not support this decision,” Mr Shorten said.

“This is the wrong decision.”