'They are getting their wage': Pauline Hanson supports penalty rates cut


Pauline Hanson believes the cut in Sunday penalty rates for retail, hospitality and fast-food workers will help small business owners.

The One Nation leader accused Labor and the unions of hypocrisy in the matter, saying in her fish and chip shop she had to pay $34 an hour in wages where the McDonald's down the road only paid $26.

"Where is the union jumping up and down about that with the battlers?" Senator Hanson told ABC TV on Sunday.

"This government is doing nothing about addressing this whole issue and Labor are a bunch of hypocrites."

The Fair Work Commission has ruled that Sunday penalty rates for workers in retail, hospitality and fast food should be dropped to bring them closer to Saturday pay levels.

Asked how she felt about the low-paid people who voted for her taking a cut after this decision, Senator Hanson said: "They are getting their wage."

"If you look at penalty rates and why it was brought in, because people had a full-time job through the week and they worked weekends," she said.

"You went out to dinner on a weekend, that was something special. Now it's become a way of life."

Hanson felt it would allow small businesses to open on a weekend and employ new people. Photo: AAP

She believed the wages cut would give small business owners a helping hand, making it more likely they would open on a weekend, give staff more hours and possibly employ new people.

Treasurer Scott Morrison has warned Labor is putting the nation's wage arbitration system at risk by opposing the Fair Work Commission's decision.

Labor is seeking to overturn the decision that would hit the hip pocket of more than 600,000 retail and hospitality workers.

The government has declined to take a position other than saying it is a decision by the independent umpire.

Mr Morrison says Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is behaving irresponsibly.

"Any decision the unions don't like, he will reverse, that's madness," Mr Morrison told Sky News on Sunday.

"He should be abolishing the Fair Work Commission if that's what he thinks is the way it should be."

Hanson said Labor were

Labor's employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor said that was "nonsense".

"We support the commission but not in this instance," he told Sky News.

"We are still calling upon the prime minister to change his mind and join Labor to support low paid workers."