Posted on: 30 November 2023
With the cost of living crisis gripping South Australia, the Opposition has moved to save small businesses and the hospitality sector from further pain and stop the Malinauskas Labor Government’s plan to add an additional public holiday to the Easter period.
Peter Malinauskas did not undertake consultation on the proposal of adding an additional public holiday to the calendar.
Instead, the Opposition has been left to try and find a sensible solution for the small business and hospitality sector - who are alarmed at the economic fallout of Peter Malinauskas’ plan - and will amend Labor’s Public Holiday Bill 2023 to swap the Easter Saturday public holiday to Easter Sunday.
The proposal keeps the number of public holidays across the Easter period the same whilst also supporting those South Australians who chose or need to work on the significant cultural and religious Easter Sunday to be appropriately compensated.
The proposal ensures that small and family business are not punished with an additional public holiday. Particularly when the majority of South Australians would be surprised to learn that Easter Saturday is currently a public holiday.
The proposal to simply switch the public holiday from Saturday to Sunday has the support of the Australian Hotels Association (South Australia), Business South Australia, Motor Trade Association South Australia, and the state’s Australian Industry Group.
Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said Peter Malinauskas’ plan was a huge risk to small business and hospitality during the cost of living crisis.
“It is ridiculous in the current economic climate for the Labor Government to force struggling small businesses and hospitality venues to cough up an additional day of penalty rates over the Easter period,” Mr Cowdrey said.
“Peter Malinauskas’ plan will add a huge burden to small and family businesses - and we know hospitality and retail will be hit hardest.
“We cannot afford to have a situation where small businesses and hospitality venues shut their doors because the cost of operation is far too high.
“In that instance, business owners and employees both miss out and it beggars belief that Peter Malinauskas is willing to risking people’s livelihoods when South Australians are already fighting to put food on the table.
“With soaring costs for food, goods, and some of the highest electricity prices in the world, an additional public holiday across Easter period will have devastating consequences.”