We'll all be better off if the Productivity Commission's report receives proper debate and challenge. It just might be one of the first steps to Australia maintaining relevance in a global economy. We have to acknowledge that individual retail workers used to Sunday penalty rates would be worse off if these were aligned with Saturday penalty rates (ie. generally be "time and a half" rather than "double time"). And individual retail store owners would be better off if their Sunday wages bill was cut by 25%....and it might encourage more stores to open on a Sunday.

But there's a bigger picture at play here - how does Australian retail with a very high overall cost base (wages, rents, taxes etc) remain relevant (I'm not even thinking "competitive") in a world where people can easily access cheaper goods online from overseas? And pricing differentials are usually much higher than the amount of GST imposed on the local retailers. Makes me think that tackling the Sunday penalty rates is only a first step on an easy target, where what we really need is fundamental economic reforms.