The Nats were elected on a promise of a high wage economy. When it became clear that they were achieving the opposite, they tried to spin a disaster into a “competitive advantage”. Remember this from Bill English?
It’s time to take on the Aussies, says English
More competition, rather than collaboration, should drive the transtasman economic relationship, Finance Minister Bill English says. Throwing down the gauntlet in a speech yesterday…
The fundamental competition is for capital, including Australian capital, he said, and over the next few years New Zealand’s advantages would become more apparent. “One is the wage differential. We have a workforce that is better educated, just as productive and 30 per cent cheaper,” he said. [my emphasis]
We’d better hope those Aussies don’t pick up that gauntlet, because they’d smack us down with it without breaking a sweat. This morning The Herald reported one of the unintended consequences of National’s low wage “competitive advantage”:
Cobbers keep navy afloat
Planned Pacific mission only possible because Australian sailors replacing Kiwis leaving for big pay across Ditch.
The New Zealand navy is relying on Australian sailors to keep it afloat as skilled crew leave in droves for higher-paid jobs across the Tasman.
There are now about 20 Australian sailors at the Devonport naval base in Auckland, many of whom will soon make up the numbers for a New Zealand-led mission in the Pacific. One patrol vessel has been tied up for a year, and two others for seven months, because of recruitment and staffing issues.
This exodus to Australia is hollowing out our country in all sorts of ways.