Remember when John Key promised 4,000 new jobs from the cycleway and, in fact, a few hundred, short-term, part-time positions were created? Remember when John Key promised 170,000 new jobs and unemployment went up instead? Looks like Key’s being making it up on the pokies-for-convention centre deal too, which would create only a fraction of the jobs promised.
Key and co have been promising 1,000 jobs from the construction alone, which conjured up images of a construction site swarming with people like something out of the Great Depression. But the actual advice they were given was that it would create 150 5-year jobs economy-wide.
As for the 800 people who National has been claiming would be employed at the convention centre once it’s built, well that number bears no relation to the number employed at similar convention centres overseas. The actual advice they got was 318-479 economy-wide.
Inspirationally, the Nats say they got their number by dividing the estimated total wage bill (which someone seems to have pulled out their arse) by $30,000 per worker. First, that’s rather putting the cart before the horse – shouldn’t you know how many workers you’re going to need before working out the wage bill? Second, isn’t it sad that National’s great economic plan involves a few hundred near-minimum wage jobs?
All of this only further undermines the case for selling our law and creating hundreds of new problem gamblers. Lately, National has been whinging that people don’t support all their economic plans. Well, that’s not because Kiwis don’t want jobs, it’s because we want more than a few get rich quick schemes that carry with them enormous social and environmental costs. Simply put: National’s sorry excuse for a economic plan isn’t the only plan out there. We can do better.
Oh, and a note for all the tinfoil hat types out there. Statistics New Zealand has cancelled the release of the latest National Employment Indicator figures, which were due out today after previously being delayed a week. They haven’t offered a decent explanation of the reason for the cancellation, which is virtually unprecedented, but I’m willing to bet the figures weren’t good.