Tony Abbott’s plans for small business will only be fully unveiled after the election when the Coalition reviews the Fair Work Act to pave the way for cuts to penalty rates, overtime and unfair dismissal protections.

The policy on red tape and competition laws announced today is only part of the story, said ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver.

“Business groups are already responding and saying ‘thanks, but what about penalty rates and unfair dismissal laws’.

“We know Abbott plans to deliver for them, with the Productivity Commission review of the Fair Work Act giving business groups a platform to go after workplace entitlements.

“The Coalition has also said it is open to backing an employer application to the Fair Work Commission to abolish penalty rates.

“This is the Coalition’s real agenda for business.”

Cutting penalty rates would be an own goal, cutting billions out of the economy with a particular impact on small business, said Mr Oliver.

“People are employees at one business, but customers at many others.

“Nearly half the Australian workforce is entitled to penalty rates and cutting them would take billions of dollars worth of consumer spending out of the economy.

“Working families will not spend on eating out, new clothes and extras for the kids if they can’t pay the bills.”