Greens will defend penalty rates

The Australian Greens today reaffirmed their support for penalty rates and pledged to oppose any changes from a future Abbott government.

Greens Deputy Leader and industrial relations spokesperson, Adam Bandt, said the Greens were a vital line of defence against any Abbott-led attacks on people's rights at work.

"As the Greens have repeatedly said, penalty rates are a recognition of the unsociable hours that many people work," said Mr Bandt.

"Many people, especially young workers, rely on penalty rates to earn a living wage," Mr Bandt concluded.

Greens small business spokesperson, Peter Whish-Wilson, said he supported existing Greens policy in defence of penalty rates.

"The Greens and I support the current arrangements and will vote to defend them," said Senator Whish-Wilson.

"There are a range of ways the pressure can be taken off small business without changes to rights and protections of workers - any other interpretation of my recent public comments is wrong.

"The Greens recognise we should be supporting small business owners, which is why our plan lowers tax rates by 2%, expands tax breaks, and provides extra funding and legislative powers for the national Small Business Commissioner," he concluded.

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