Government has a central role in job creation. Just ask National. They’ll tell you it’s not true, and then proudly proclaim that they got The Hobbit made here (ie. bent to hollow threats from Hollywood), creating 3,000 temporary jobs. According to the New York Times, the total cost of our government’s subsidies for The Hobbit is NZD$150m – $50,000 per short-term job.
Look, I’m sure The Hobbit will bring in a few tourists and I’m all for government support of desirable industries but why don’t manufacturers, who actually produce things of tangible value, get a even a fraction of that support? How many of the 40,000 manufacturing jobs lost under National could have been saved with $50 million?
For example, hundreds of permanent, high wage, high value job at Hillside and supporting companies would have been saved if the Government had been willing to spend a few million to buy Kiwi made rather than go for artificially cheap imports when buying new rolling stock.
If only the Hillside workers were able to invite Key to their Bell-Air mansions to have dinner with movie stars, maybe then the Government would care about them.
Make you submission to the Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing today here.