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John Key’s plan to cut your pay

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, February 20th, 2008 - 96 comments
Categories: john key, national, tax, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

keysmaller.jpg“We would love to see wages drop”. You would think that given the simmering debate about our wage gap with Australia at the moment that would be the last thing you’d expect to hear from the leader of the National Party. Especially when he’d gone on record in the national media just a week ago claiming under pressure that his party “will raise wages“.

But that’s exactly what John Key told the Kerikeri District Business Association in late December last year.

“We would love to see wages drop”

Think about what that means for a second.

For most people their wage is the only income they have to pay their mortgages or rent, to feed and clothe themselves and their kids and to make sure they can have some kind of a decent life – all the things most Kiwis need and want.

And John wants them to have less.

We’ve talked about the wage issue time and time again on this blog and how the National Party has no answers on how to raise wages. They seem only to want to talk about tax cuts, and I guess this explains why.

That Key would say this to an audience of employers and within two months try to tell the New Zealand public the complete opposite is a disgraceful act of dishonesty, and it shows his real attitude to working New Zealanders.

Disdain.

I’m starting to understand how Key can claim his tax cuts wouldn’t be inflationary – his plan is to take them out of our wages.

wages_drop.gif

UPDATE: Around the blogs Jordan Carter, No Right Turn, SproutBean and Kiwiblogblog have all weighed in. Scoop has press releases from Labour and the EPMU

UPDATE 2: The Council of Trade Unions has entered the fray, challenging Key to come clean on wages.

96 comments on “John Key’s plan to cut your pay”

  1. Steve Pierson 1

    This is outragous!

    All that bullshit about the wage gap, about getting wages up, and we find out that he actually wants wages down!

    All those families on the edge, struggling to get by, he wants them poorer.

    I can’t believe it, I knew they were bad but it’s amazing they would go that far.

    National wants to cut our pay.

  2. the sprout 2

    increasing the unemployment rate should achieve John’s nirvana of lower NZ wages

  3. Don’t forget cutting benefits and freezing the minimum wage, Sprout.

  4. Benodic 4

    What a disgrace. Just goes to show how hollow National’s tax cut plan is after all. I expect the mainstream media drop the dying Owen Glenn scandalette and pick up on this blatant example of dishonesty and hypocrisy from John Key.

    Judging by the lack of pickup so far I guess half-baked scandal trumps substance any day of the week in New Zealand’s fearless mainstream media.

  5. Benodic 5

    There’s supposed to be a [chortle] in there somewhere to indicate sarcasm but the system didn’t like my triangular brackets.

  6. g 6

    Why do you people at the standard consistantly take a few words out of context and proceed to use that as basis for outright attack on that person.

  7. Ex Labour Voter 7

    What a coincidence! Labour, the EPMU, and the Standard simultaneously release a press release, about the same obscure article in a tiny provincial newspaper, published three months ago!

    And they’ve all deliberately, selectively, chosen to misquote John Key.

    His point was pretty clear. The way for wages to increase is by increasing productivity. Not by allowing union to extort employers because of over-heat in the labour market, caused by the brain drain that Labour is doing nothing to stop.

  8. outofbed 8

    disgraceful
    But credit to the man he did finally say what he truly believes in
    That’s all I really ask

    So two definites then
    higher costs for gp visits
    and lower wages.
    anything else ?

  9. Sam Dixon 9

    This is beyond the pale from Key. His comments are a disgrace.

    I want to say he should resign but in fact he is jsut speakign the truth of Natioanl’s intentions, he has done nothing that would warrant sacking by National except being caught tellign the truth.

    Now, we know for sure that National plans to make oridnary jokers worse off and put more porfits in the pockets of their big business mates. Who in their right mind would vote for that?

  10. Sam Dixon 10

    g – what is out of context about thse words “we would love wages to drop”?

    Pray explain how they could be contextualised in any other way than that National wants wages to drop.

  11. Benodic 11

    OMG! EWS in unions and Labour party care about wages shock!

    See, I just had a look and the Labour release hit the newswires yesterday at 5.30pm so it’s hardly breaking news. Even on the blogs No Right Turn and Just Left both beat the standard to the story with posts last night. Good effort at midirection EWS but what do you think about John Key’s plan to cut your pay?

  12. Steve Pierson 12

    ELV. Ther is no misquote here: Key says they would love to see wages drop.

    He also says productivity should go up (as does every single other party), but the fruits of that increaed productivity would not go to ordinary kiwis under National. We would be worked harder and get less pay.

    Do you seriously want a pay cut?

  13. g 13

    Sam – Do you have the original notes from the author of the article? … Um no.

    I think we can safely assume the entire sentence was not just “We would love to see wages drop”, but that was what the author chose to publish, why? Because he clearly wanted to influence the public perception of John Key.

    The media in NZ are often shallow and only publish what they want to just to prove their point of view.

  14. Tane 14

    Why do you people at the standard consistantly take a few words out of context and proceed to use that as basis for outright attack on that person.

    There’s no lack of context g. If you click on the pull-out quote you’ll find a link to the full story:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/wages-drop-800.jpg

    John Key wants to cut our wages. In fact, he’s said he’d love to. How does that square with his comments to the media, and why’s he telling business one thing and the New Zealand public another?

  15. Sam Dixon 15

    g – what a perposterius position that is. Without any evidence at all, you assume the journalist just made it up.

    The fact is National wants your ages to fall, their leader has said as much. Are you going to vote for a pay cut?

  16. Sam – Do you have the original notes from the author of the article? Um no.

    Fuck that’s desperate – do we have the original notes for the Glenn interview? Of course not and only a desperate fool would try to claim that made a difference. I suggest “g” that you give up now before you make yourself look anymore stupid. Key has ‘fessed up about his real intentions. Suck it up. Oh and remember: a vote for National is a vote to cut your pay. At least the smarmy bastard has finally admitted it…

  17. the sprout 17

    but John Key is such a nice man. and so rich.
    i’m sure a wage cut from National will be swell!

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    What a surprise. I’d like to contribute that it seems Key is happy for us to get tax cuts, as long as they go to businesses and his rich mates.

    Hey guys, cheer up – sounds like we’re getting some policy, right?

    When will the 90 day bill, reduction/abolition of minimum wages and saleable annual leave policies be announced (it shouldn’t be hard, they printed it all up in 2005 didn’t they?)

  19. Sam Dixon 19

    Hands up who wants a wage cut?

    Who will be voting for National and their policy of gutting your wages?

  20. Glenn 20

    Wow, the Bay Report Whangarei, which refers to the National Party Leader as “My Keys’ in the second column. Hardly Woodward & Bernstein. The reporting is contradictory and poor, and most likely in error. But anything to deflect from the Owen Glenn scandal, right?

  21. Oh, I’m paid far too much so are my neighbours – I noticed they bought a second-hand trampoline for their kids the other day – ostentatious bastards, they’ve got far too much discretionary income…

  22. Tane 22

    Those constant attacks on the wages of civil servants are finally starting to make some sense eh?

  23. g 23

    I never said he made it up. You just showed exactly what I was trying to explain. Extract 6 or 7 words from any book, article etc and you can easily find something which looks like it doesn’t fit, because it is taken out of context.

  24. Hey Glenn – I’m sure National can clear this up but at the moment, as Mr. Key said about the Glenn case on morning report today, It’s murky at best… Nah, he said it alright.

  25. Sam Dixon 25

    g – The sentence is “we would love to see wages drop”, give it to me in a context that doesn’t mean “we would love to see wages drop”

  26. the sprout 26

    “ostentatious bastards, they’ve got far too much discretionary income”

    too bloody right mate – i mean who needs more stuff? they’re just being greedy.

    a gin palace at Orewa and another half dozen properties around the country, in addition to the Parnell mansion, should be anough for anybody.

  27. Steve Pierson 27

    Glenn. These attempts to discredit the report are very weak. Key said “we would love to see wages drop”, that is that.

    Now, if you are for wages dropping, be a man just say so, don’t make baseless smears on the journalist.

  28. Tane 28

    Okay G. John Key was talking to a business audience concerned about the call for higher wages (no employer likes having to pay their staff more) and he reassured them he was going to help them out with their ‘labour costs’, as National calls our wages.

    From the article:

    Another point raised by Ms Brookes-Quan concerned the exodus to Australia by New Zealanders, lured by attractive wage compensation, and the recent call for employers to pay more.

    Mr Key would like to see the opposite occur.

    “We would love to see wages drop,” he says.

    It’s common for politicians to let things slip in provincial papers when they think no one’s listening. Remember the Iraq war fiasco? That was reported in the Rodney Times of all places.

    What I’m left wondering is how much Ms Brookes-Quan and her fellow employers gave National in secret donations last election? What did they get in exchange and how will we ever know?

  29. Stef 29

    I suspect that the wage drops would only be in certain areas and achieved through higher umemployment.

  30. I suspect that the wage drops would only be in certain areas and achieved through higher umemployment.

    So probably just vulnerable workers like cleaners, aged care workers, factory workers, young workers etc?

    I guess there’s nothing to worry about then.

  31. James Kearney 31

    All that bullshit about the wage gap, about getting wages up, and we find out that he actually wants wages down!

    Have to agree with you there Steve. And the worst thing of all is we know it’s not his wages or his mates’ wages he wants to cut, because they’re the kind of people who get investment income or employ staff and stand to gain from wage cuts. It’s the wages of ordinary New Zealanders like you and me he’s after and that’s disgusting.

  32. g 32

    Sam – Which wages? Drop in comparision to what?

    E.g. If he was taking about specific industries, e.g. Technology changes can remove the need for some human processing in some industries. This would in turn reduce the wage bill for those employers (a drop in wages, after a capital cost for the change), which may also reduce the production cost, which would reduce the cost that consumers have to pay for that product.

  33. James Kearney 34

    g- Key said he “wages”, not “wage costs” to go down. You need to try harder.

  34. Have you noticed, g, how noone else is trying to defend this. It’s ‘cos Key’s been thoroughly caught out here. Keep trying though – it’s very entertaining.

  35. Dancer 36

    For those who may try and portray this comment as a “one off” the overall direction is confirmed by things he’s said previously – he just hasn’t been quite so blunt (maybe this is why we are all taken aback – we’re not used to such straight talking from Mr Key! but then i guess he was addressing a group of fellow business people).

    For example: Key is an advocate of flexible labour markets and says under National expect “quite significant’ changes to the Employment Relations Act.
    He reckons there was nothing wrong with employment legislation – the Employment Contracts Act – as it was when National left office in 1999.’ The Independent 8 September 2004

  36. merl 37

    I agre with all the outrage above. Although it’s not a shock so I’m not really that surprised.

    Sorry to be a pedant, but it’s ‘disdain’, not ‘distain’

  37. Matthew Pilott 38

    Na I’m with g on this – when he says wages, how do we know he means “wages” in the income sense.

    I think he means “wages” as in “wages war”.

    He actually wants peace. God bless you, John Key.

    Is that the “context” you’re after, g? I could have more fun spinning it if you wish, but at the end of the dsy, I’ll still be talking out my arse 😉

  38. slightlyrighty 39

    Again a typical ploy from the left who take one statement out of context and assume that this is the thinking of John Key.

    Read the whole article. Your headline is misleading. A headline that more accurately reflects the thinking of the article would be “Key’s plan to improve productivity, and living standards.”

    Labour wants to increase wages without regard to the capacity of industry to sustain them. What John Key is saying is that is not how wage rises should occur.

    If you bother to read the article, John Key is saying improved productivity leads to higher wages and that is how it should proceed.

  39. See, I just had a look and the Labour release hit the newswires yesterday at 5.30pm so it’s hardly breaking news. Even on the blogs No Right Turn and Just Left both beat the standard to the story with posts last night.

    Michael Cullen dropped it in Parliament at the end of the commencement debate around 16:20, and I to wait for his press release.

  40. Daveo 41

    John Key’s been saying this kinda thing for a while, like in 2004 when he attacked unionism in parliament, said he wanted to scrap the Employment Relations Act and said employers should be abble to pressure workers not to join a union. Dancer is right – there’s heaps more where this came from.

  41. Tim 42

    This is not a one-off statement, nor is it taken out of context. National’s employment policies attack workers. It has no concrete policy on how to increase wages. Its agenda is the reverse.

    National’s “answer” is tax cuts. This will do nothing for workers. If you’re earning $12 an hour a tax cut is not a huge amount of money. A tax cut for workers will give them next to nothing while cutting the public services they rely on (and pay for through their taxes). Businesses and employers have the most to gain from tax cuts, not workers.

    Let’s not forget that it was National that encouraged the low wage and low investment employment landscape of the 1990s, the legacy of which remains. New Zealand competed by having very low wages. This did not encourage investment in training or technology and it did not increase workers’ skills or productivity. National is responsible for the vast gap in wages with Australia that it now purports to want to remedy.

    National’s talk about supporting productivity is meaningless unless mechanisms are in place to ensure that workers get a fair share of increased productivity. National still opposes the 2004 amendments to the Employment Relations Act 2000. It is clear that it opposes collective bargaining and laws to prevent exploitation of vulnerable workers in contracting out situations.

    National and its employment spokesperson Kate Wilkinson should drop the veneer of concern for workers. The damage to our social fabric caused by poverty wages is too important to ignore, and workers need to know the truth from National.

  42. Daveo 43

    Well put Tim.

  43. Phil 44

    Hey Sod, some of us on Jonkeys side of the argument just have more productive things to do with our time…

    Anyway, as I see it here, we have a combination of three things.
    One; an off the cuff response to a question that was worded poorly
    Two; a Journalist who sees some mileage in the quote
    Three; IB getting wet and randy over something else top try to pin on Key

    If you read the rest of the article, John’s talking about increases in productivity. I think it is fairly apparent that what he means is that wages, as a percentage of employer costs, should come down.

    Leaving aside the fact that ‘wages’ as a cost to employers are NOT the same thing as ‘wages’ in your pocket, I think what he’s getting at is that businesses must take steps to improve productivity in such a way that they have ample reasources to reward employees once the benefit of capital spending and investment has made it’s way through their production process.

  44. outofbed 45

    yes well put tim

  45. the sprout 46

    Tim, you’ll never get a job in the msm saying stuff like that

  46. the sprout 47

    Phil, thanks for the handy “contextualization”.
    did you do “the war in Iraq is over” too?

  47. outofbed 48

    Key’s plan to cut wages is probably one of the reasons that K Rich left

  48. Matthew Pilott 49

    Phil, and slightlyrighty,

    I’ll put it to you that if this idea is so fantastic, why hasn’t Key been shouting it from the rooftops?

    Why has he been either (at best) deliberately misprepresenting his position or blattantly lying about his intentions?

    Fact is, he has no answers to th eproblems laid out there, or his solution isn’t one that he considers fit for general consumption.

    Anyway, Phil, as his official spokesperson, what did he mean to say, instead of “We would love to see wages drop”? Maybe get him to give me a call, cheers.

    I also detect a little underpants gnome in there – cut wages, ??, and raise productivity.

  49. three; IB getting wet and randy

    Hey Phil – you’re KBR is showing.

  50. Matthew Pilott 51

    ‘sod: “your”. Funny though 🙂

  51. Jeez – I didn’t get much sleep last night…

  52. Daveo 53

    Too busy blowing goats aye Sod? 🙂 No need to worry, your goat-blowing days will be over when John Key has you working double shifts to pay your mortgage.

  53. AncientGeek 54

    I think what he’s getting at is that businesses must take steps to improve productivity in such a way that they have ample reasources to reward employees once the benefit of capital spending and investment has made it’s way through their production

    phil: I have no problems with all of that. IMHO employers have been dragging the chain on increasing productivity. It invariably requires capital investments that haven’t been that noticeable in the last couple of decades. It has been cheaper to get cheap labour. Consequently our productivity rate rises have been minimal.

    The best thing that employers could have happen to them is to enter a tight labour market. There is finally an incentive for them to get off their arse and get real productivity increases.

    cap: the Corporate

  54. Bart 55

    Ahh, the policies of the soundbite.

    Having read the whole article, what John Key has actually said was that a wage rise simply for the sake of a wage rise is counterproductive. What he would like to see is more competitiveness with Australian wages that have come about with a combination of tax cuts, and wage rises linked to increased productivity which has come about as a result of infrastructure investment. And what, may I ask, is so wrong with that.

    But of course, you lot simply take one line from the speech, quote it out of context, and make no effort to quantify the very reasonable statements on infrastructure investment.

    Shame on you!

  55. Steve Pierson 56

    Bart. Key says “we would love to see wages drop”. He also says that increasing productivity would be good but that’s nothing new or surprising, every party says that. Not every party says “we would love for wages to drop”.

    The big question now, for those trying to defend Key’s statement is how much of a pay cut are you willing to take under a National government?

    captcha: Public Tingling, I think they’ll be more than tingling after they see this on the news tonight.

  56. insider 57

    SO none of you have ever missed a word in saying something so it doesn’t come out we meant.

    I mean, you seem to have missed the fundamental contradiction of the phrase you are so loving with his immediately following statement: “the way we want to see wages increase is…”

    As a former sub editor and journalist, it leapt out at me and my instant reaction was – “there;re some words missing in the quote, otherwise it makes no sense whatsoever (ignoring whether the sentiment fits your preset agenda).”

    It was likely the word “gap” between the words ‘wages’ and ‘drop’ was missed either by Key or by the reporter – probably the former given the extensive quotes used by the reporter (that said given s/he is irregular in the spelling of both the people quoted, I’m not sure I’d pin all my faith on that). Insert that word and there is clarity.

    ALways consider cock up theory before conspiracy theory.

  57. the sprout 58

    tinkling more like, as National pisses more votes down the toilet

    keep opening your mouth John

  58. the sprout 59

    no doubt about Key and cock-ups Phil

    Key: “under a Labour government I lead…”

  59. r0b 60

    But of course, you lot simply take one line from the speech, quote it out of context

    Begging your pardon there Bart, but the post references an image of the entire article as printed in the newspaper. You can’t supply much more context than that!

    and make no effort to quantify the very reasonable statements on infrastructure investment.

    Quantify them? Could you please show us how that’s done Bart? Serious question, not at all sure what you mean here.

    Shame on you!

    And for supporting a call to lower wages, honour and glory to you do you think? Some might disagree…

  60. Tane 61

    ALways consider cock up theory before conspiracy theory.

    Because that’s what National and the media are doing with the Williams/Glenn fiasco right?

  61. Steve Pierson 62

    I don’t buy this nonsense about a word missing from the quote. They’ve selected it and put it in bold, they would have checked they had the words right.

    In the next paragraph after the quote, Key talks about tackling wage inflation, which is tory speak for wage rises.

  62. I’d say (also as a former sub) that a quote of this significance (especially when used as a pullout would have been checked). I’d also say that National would have had this article come through their clippings service and would have flagged it for a retraction or would have been organised to point out as soon as it came up that it was a misquote. They’ve also had 18 hours to respond (what would be a better deflation of the story than – “simple, I was misquoted”) and haven’t done so.

  63. r0b 64

    I don’t buy this nonsense about a word missing form the quote. They’ve selected it and put it in bold, they would have chekced they had the words right

    Quite apart from the fact that Key would have screamed blue murder if an error of that magnitude had occurred.

  64. Draco TB 65

    OMG, National proving that it hasn’t changed it’s spots since the 1990s. It still wants mass unemployment, low wages and extreme poverty – who’d ha’ thunk it.

  65. Yeah DTB – I was also stunned. I thought they were a party of the centre.

  66. insider 67

    Sprout just gave another good example of one of Key’s misspeaks. And face it, he is not a great orator, to be blunt. Not exactly bushlike but certainly not a Blair or Cullen. I suspect he accidentally left the word out as he responded to a question. (look how many times people have mistyped or misused a word in this thread – it happens).

    Journalistically speaking, if the quote deserves the weight you place on it I have to wonder why that wasn’t the lead of the story – the reporter missed a massive scoop surely, which does call into question his/her reporting skills. So perhaps in context it was not quite the issue being imagined here.

    The next bit was that he wanted to see wage inflation not automatically echo the economy’s inflation but be built on productivity gains.

    So it is a nice little thing to chuck jibes at him about, but it is a bit much to see this as a major polciy announcement or sinister revelation of a hidden agenda.

    If that’s the best you can do, you haven’t got much.

  67. mike 68

    “captcha: Public Tingling, I think they’ll be more than tingling after they see this on the news tonight.”

    This is not newsworthy, if it was stuff or NZ would have picked it up not just left blogs looking for a distraction from ‘Glengate’
    The 6 o’clock news will focus on the sad state of our killer hospitals etc etc..

  68. insider 69

    Robinsod

    The pullout is a good point, but I would look at the quality of the newspaper – it is not in the first class. If you have ever dealt with these community papers they are a bit hit and miss – staff are often very young or lack training. See the spellings of the names, the sub didn;t even pick that up so I wouldn’t rate his/her skills and s/he probably processed the copy as written without asking too many questions.

    In terms of clipping services, you could also ask why it was being sat on by Labour. In my experience these community papers take a long time to come through. I suspect the nats haven’t put out a clarification because the story has no legs.

  69. Hey Mike – I kinda agree with you but I would say it has the potential to grow over the next few days (as the Key DVD story did). “Glengate” please tell me you didn’t make that up? ‘Cos if you did bro you should stick to your day job.

    Insider – As you know, journalists (especially regional journalists) often don’t realise the story they have. The angle often makes the story. As for the policy stuff? They’ve not released employment policy and they won’t because it shows them for what they are. In fact National has a habit of keeping their less appealing policies quiet – at least once at the request of their private backers.

  70. insider 71

    Rob I still think the leader of National wanting lower wages should stick out like a sore thumb no matter where you live. Maybe I’m too conscious of politics.

  71. Bro – I’ve seen young journos completely miss the killer question and push the oddest things to the top in my time. And unfortunately it’s not only the noobs these days – a classic example of this was pointed out by Irish on this site a while ago in relation to the Shadbolt campaign. I was amazed that he got coverage for two weeks before anyone actually asked where the money for the campaign was coming from!

  72. the sprout 73

    true, true. and then there’s the angle the editor has already decided to run

  73. insider 74

    It was all so much better in our day….

  74. the sprout 75

    hehe

  75. Bart 76

    Oh pay attention Rob. Wage increases simply to catch up to another economy are ultimately inflationary, and will do little to increase the standard of living in this country. Wage increases must go hand in hand with productivity to be sustanable. Productivity increaases when the tax burden is reduced for both employers and employees.

    If we increase wages without productivity increases, the relative cost to employers of wages increases. employers myst then look to reduce costs, be it by delaying the purchase of additional infrastructure, raising prices, or outsourcing to a cheaper labour market. Using a softer approach, ensuring wage rises increase along with productivity, adjusting tax brackets, and allowing the worker to more fairly reap the rewrads of his or her labour is a sound policy, which all of you are missing because John Key used a phrase which I am sure he wishes he hadn’t. Now you are all over him because he spoke the truth, the literal economic truth.

    meanwhile, Michael cullen taxes our economy in to oblivion and wastes years of global economic growth!

    At least under John Keys stated policy goals, I have a chance of a reduced mortgage rate!

  76. Steve Pierson 77

    Bart. Will your reduced wage pay for your supposedly reduced mortgage?

  77. AncientGeek 78

    insider:

    ALways consider cock up theory before conspiracy theory.

    Sounds right – pity the tories never follow that principle. Like these attacks on Mike Williams about a ‘donation’.

    cap: then surpluses

  78. r0b 79

    Bart: Oh pay attention Rob.

    Sure thing Bart. I read your post three times. I paid attention like anything. And yet I can’t see anything in your post which provides any other interpretation of Key’s statement: “We would love to see wages drop’.

    You did mention “outsourcing to a cheaper labour market”. Is that what Key had in mind do you think?

    Now you are all over him because he spoke the truth, the literal economic truth.

    And The Standard is reporting his words on this literal economic truth. So, what exactly are you objecting to?

  79. Matthew Pilott 80

    Ah, finally someone says it like it is.

    Bart, I think the gist of what you’re saying is that all those people on an inflated wage (the minimum wage and lower income people with strong unions) are getting too much money.

    This is inflationary, and causes trouble for those wealthy folks trying to pay off their mortgage on their third and fourth investment properties.

    Cripple the unions, and bust the minimum wage, and National can reduce interest rates that will really benefit the wealthy.

    At least you’re honest enough to take Key’s words for what they mean – that decent wages for the poor can (sometimes, under specific market conditions) be inflationary and this is an economic truth.

  80. Bart 81

    And how come none of you are reporting this statement from John Key.

    “The way we want to see wages increase is because productivity is greater. So people can afford more. Not just for inflationary reasons, otherwise it’s a bit of a viscious circle as it comes back at you in higher interest rates.”

    Now where is this statement to be found?

    In the same bloody article you are quoting John Key from at the start of this thread.

    I am not asking you to beleive, just to think!

  81. Um, that’s in the linked PDF in this article. And he’s tried to use the productivity argument elsewhere. Guess what? He’s never explain anything of it. In fact I think the “we would love to see wages drop” argument is the most concrete thing I think I’ve ever heard him say.

  82. r0b 83

    OK Bart, I’m a bear of very little brain, and long words bother me. When Key says – “The way we want to see wages increase is because productivity is greater. So people can afford more.” – then I translate this as follows – “It will be just as good as a wage increase if workers make more stuff and there is more and cheaper stuff to buy”.

    Sounds like nonsense to me. I’ll take a real wage increase please.

    So what’s your interpretation of Key’s words? In nice simple language please explain the above statement from Key, and how it proves that Key doesn’t actually mean it when he says “We would love to see wages drop’.

  83. AncientGeek 84

    Bart: Generally raising productivity in a firm is a mid to long term objective once the simple easy and cheap stuff has been done. In most cases that should have already been done. (And if it hasn’t then there are employers who should go to the wall).

    The longer term productivity increases done by government funded infrastructure, or industry, take significant capital to get started.

    In industry they have ROI’s EBDIC’s etc that usually take 5 years to reap returns. Thats why industry hasn’t done them previously, it has always been cheaper to hire people.

    In government that take 10 years because most of the easier stuff has already been done. Planning permissions aren’t a significant problem. Planning, capital, workforce, and the technical problems usually are.

    The last 8 years of Labour lead governments have been building the infrastructure. There has been more infrastructure built in the last 8 years, and more underway than there has been for 30 years.

    Neither the Nats or Key have any track record in saying what they will do, and then doing it.

    As an investor in NZ via my taxes, I’d want to know what their plans are. Simply taking a line of bullshit from a corporate pirate simply isn’t good enough. To date that is all that I’ve heard from that Nats or Key – bullshit and waffle.

  84. Santi 85

    “National wants to cut our pay” said S. Pierson.

    That’s an outrageous lie and you know it.

    Stop being economical with the truth and concentrate on the substance of this issue. Or is it your union background that prevents you from speaking the truth?

  85. Stop being economical with the truth and concentrate on the substance of this issue

    This from a troll like you Santi??? What a hoot – I don’t think I’ve ever seen you comment on the “substance” of anything.

  86. Matthew Pilott 87

    You have to wonder why he bothers eh ‘sod?

    Santi, if you want to focus on issues, there are other posts concerning the issue of tax cuts vs productivity. I believe The Standard has mentioned that the latter is more important.

    The difference is Key saying he’d prefer that wages are reduced before this happens.

    Is it your troll background that prevents you from saying anything intelligent? Oh…yes it is.

  87. the sprout 88

    how did Hone Harawera describe Key?
    a “smiling snake” i believe it was.

  88. Horisthebear 89

    I have a solution to this selective propaganda debate from your guys.

    Lets call a snap Election and let the people decide and see who believes who…

  89. outofbed 90

    I love it when the rwnj call for a snap election
    translates to :- I don’t think Key can hold out being economical with the truth for too much longer

  90. Horisthebear 91

    Ha! I guess you must think that things for Labour can get better from here? The last week will be worth another 5-10pts away from Labour in the next poll. The longer she leaves it the better for us.

  91. boristhespider 92

    we’ll see Horis we’ll see

    captcha = suddenly french
    another false dawn eh ?

  92. burt 93

    Horisthebear

    You were correct…

  93. John 94

    How’s the Labour fundraising going at the walk for life cancer fundraiser …… really Labour tsk tsk what are you payong your PR advisors for ?

  94. pat 95

    What about Helen Clark’s plan to cut our wages? The Free Trade Agreement with Communist China.

  95. Lampie 96

    some need to read closer, Key is meaning (hopefully hasn’t already been mentioned) wages to drop under Labour to prove his point of wages adjusted to inflation instead of real growth. Also means he admits that there has been icrease in wages too otherwise he wouldn’t mention he would like them to drop.

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    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    7 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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