web analytics

Aussie pay gap widening, Key does nothing

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 am, March 2nd, 2010 - 20 comments
Categories: employment, jobs, unemployment, Unions, wages - Tags: , ,

A survey out yesterday shows that the gap between New Zealand and Australia is set to widen in the coming year with 78% of Aussie firms planning on giving inflation or better wages increases this year, compared to just 55% here.

In fact, the gap has already grown since the Key Government took office. The total weekly pay packet to Kiwi workers fell by 0.4% in 2009 compared to 2008 after inflation*, and the increases that there were nearly all went to unionised workers who bargained for decent pay rises. In Aussie, the total pay packet for workers is up 2.5%**.

It’s going to get worse. While Aussie steams ahead we’ll be going backwards or treading water at best. Treasury thinks the country’s total wage packet will keep falling in inflation-adjusted terms and it won’t get back to its peak until 2012. And that’ll be shared among more workers than ever before.

So, where’s the plan to close the wage gap with Australia? To date, John Key and his gang have a perfect record in opposing all pay increases and they have done nothing to create jobs.

Key says he wants wages to catch up to Aussie’s. Well, it won’t happen while there are quarter of a million too few jobs to do around, that means employers can be picky and offer lower wages. NZIER gets it, writing in their latest Quarterly Update [not online] “intense competition for few jobs will restrain wage growth for some time.” Wage increases will come when unemployment drops, not before.

And if Key is really serious about getting the economy to grow faster his first order of business should be working out how not to waste day after day the skills and energy of 276,000 Kiwis who want to work but can’t get a job and 115,000 who want to work more hours than they can get.

The solution in both instances is a full employment policy. We’re getting nothing like it from this government that does nothing for Kiwis while offering favours to the elite.

* (total weekly pay here, CPI here) ** (average weekly pay here, number of employed here, CPI here)

20 comments on “Aussie pay gap widening, Key does nothing”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Sorry Marty, but you can’t legislate for profitability. I know you hanker back for the days when we had a prime minister who believed she could command the sun to rise and set. But it doesn’t work that way.

    So far as Australia is concerned, their huge natural resources and the voracious demand for these from China means that Australia can’t help but be more profitable than us despite the politicians meddling in their society.

    In order to get employment up, we need businesses to be profitable so they can afford to hire workers and increase wages. The way a government can help to get businesses profitable is to reduce tax and reduce compliance costs. In other words get TF out of our lives. We spend around 20k per year just on compliance costs to keep the government happy. Thats approx half a salary that could have been used to employ someone to do something productive.

    Of course there is another way for devout socialists. Jobs could be created by increasing the size of the public service and running huge deficits to fund their wages. We could set ourselves the goal of becoming the PIIGS of the south Pacific.

    • Jenny 1.1

      Smithfield, it is not huge their huge natural resources, as compared to Australia our, (mainly agricultural), resources are even greater per head of population than Australia’s, if you don’t believe me go to the Farmers Federation website.

      As well as that, in the profitability and productivity stats., New Zealand also outperforms Australia, NZ being somewhere like number 3 in the world profitability stakes. Though you wouldn’t know it from all the moaning and griping from employers.

      The main difference is the strength of the Aussie unions, who are able to wrestle more of the wealth created by their work off the bosses. This of course means that the average Aussie has greater spending power, which creates greater demand and means more jobs.

      In contrast, in New Zealand where because of lower wages, more of the wealth created tends to stay in fewer hands, the resulting falling spending power among the majority, has seen a major drop in demand, escalating unemployment.

      Smithfield by the nature of your comment, I can tell that the last thing that you would ever want in this country would be a resurgent union movement.

    • Marty G 1.2

      ts. It’s Key’s promise. Not mine. Take it up with him.

      Oh, and an unemployed person costs the government over $10,000 a year just in lost tax and dole costs. Worth spending something to get them working, eh?

    • Marty G 1.3

      “The way a government can help to get businesses profitable is to reduce tax and reduce compliance costs. In other words get TF out of our lives. We spend around 20k per year just on compliance costs to keep the government happy. Thats approx half a salary that could have been used to employ someone to do something productive.”

      Sorry, regulation is necessary for well-functioning markets. You think that Aussie doesn’t have compliance costs? In fact, we rate best in the world in terms of doing business.

      • Lanthanide 1.3.1

        “In fact, we rate best in the world in terms of doing business.”
        You wouldn’t know that listening to NAct who keep banging on about “red tape” and “compliance costs” and how we need to cut the business tax rate, etc.

    • In TSmithfield’s eyes it all seems so easy. We should look around the world at places where the tax take is minimal and the power of the state is poor. Somalia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan?

      And we should keep well away from those states that rob their citizens of their wealth so that the money can be poured into vast centralised machines of state like er, Sweeden, Germany, Denmark.

      I know where I would prefer to live.

    • Clarke 1.5

      I see you’ve been drinking the right-wing Kool Aid again.

      As someone who’s run companies on both sides of the Tasman, I can testify to the fact that compliance costs are much lower here than in Australia. But let’s be clear about what those compliance costs actually are – they’re what you pay as a business for the privilege of operating in a first-world economy.

      If you want the rule of law to apply to your business dealings, if you want level playing fields and constraints on big companies predating smaller ones, then some regulation and associated compliance costs are the price you pay. Although I notice that the typical right winger wants these things – they just don’t want to fund them. Which rather undermines the logic of “user pays” that they are so keen on in other areas.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.5.1

        Although I notice that the typical right winger wants these things they just don’t want to fund them. Which rather undermines the logic of “user pays’ that they are so keen on in other areas.

        Right wing logic usually amounts to “the rich use, the poor pay”.

  2. tc 2

    This whole bridge the gap with Oz is a strawman/red herring/load of crap trotted out by Johnny Clown to fill up some column inches and make it look like they’re doing something.

    Reality is you can lump it in with cycleway/financial hub/job summit etc as more style over substance and snake oil to keep the ignorant/apathetic voters believing that somethings being done.

    Just like in the 90’s under Bolger/shipley the gaps growing again. Coming soon….monorail probably to run alongside that piece of temporary crap they’ll get taxpayers to fund on Queens wharf for a few games of Rugby.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      This whole bridge the gap with Oz is a strawman/red herring/load of crap trotted out by Johnny Clown to fill up some column inches and make it look like they’re doing something.

      He had to say something after he got caught telling the truth

  3. Craig Glen Eden 3

    Have you ever been to Australia tsmithfield or worked there because if you have, you would know that their OCC Health compliance is way stricter than ours, and their public service is way more cumbersome than ours.
    I cant help but laugh at tories who’s own party when in opposition went on and on about wages and the economy gap that was so much bigger across the ditch. It was all due to Cullens miss management of our economy and how we needed to lower taxes because that would help us catch up to the Aussies. The amazing thing is the Aussies seem to have found all this stuff that they are now mining that they didn’t mine when Labour was in power. Oh well at least we have pineapple lumps aye.

  4. Paul 4

    John Key and Anne Tolley are both on record as saying that teachers pay should be cut! That with stupid national standards may see the mooted reduction in teachers salaries as they all head off to Oz with the doctors and nurses.

  5. Red Rosa 5

    The Nats are looking more and more like a tired bunch of old Tory reactionaries, who have learnt nothing and forgotten nothing since the Shipley era.

    And, like the Bourbons, they have brought back titles! Fortunately the guillotine only for Parliament….

  6. tsmithfield 6

    Marty:

    “Oh, and an unemployed person costs the government over $10,000 a year just in lost tax and dole costs. Worth spending something to get them working, eh?”

    Bad maths, Marty. $10000 dollars a year per person is chicken feed compared to what the bloated public service gets paid, which is also a major cost on the economy. It is cheaper to have surplus public services on the dole rather than drawing a wage cheque at multiples of that figure. Personally, I would start by making at least 1/2 the politicians redundant.

    • Marty G 6.1

      god, don’t tell me you run a business.

      Something over $10,000 is the fiscal cost the government faces from people being unemployed, doing nothing.

      Public servants do work and produce value. I know that doesn’t fit with your prejudice but it’s true, that’s why National has been unable to find lots of jobs to cut. The public service is not bloated, no sensible government would bloat the public service when it could be using that money to provide more services or tax cuts.

      The idea of making half of MPs redundant is typical small minded, petty thinking. MPs do a hell of a lot of important work and firing half of them would only save you $10 million or so a year.

    • Captain Rehab 6.2

      The “bloated public service” is a figment of right-wing propaganda that most people have seen through by now. You really are a total fucking dunce aren’t you tsmithfield.

      What’s your next tired fact-free line going to be? “Corrupt”? “decade of deficits”? “ambitious for New Zild”?

      What a loser.

  7. Santi 7

    I am very disappointed in John Key. He has shown very little during his first year in office, and the second year looks the same.

    He appears incapable of making decisions, flip-flops too often, and generally comes across as a very weak leader. On top of it, some of his ministers are either fools (Smith), crooks (Heatley) or dim-witted (Tolley).

    The National Party has lost its compass. As someone who despises Labour and its socialist policies, I feel Key’s government is more of the same rubbish that squandered the last nine years.

  8. the sprout 8

    excellent graphic

  9. “Capricious for New Zealand?”

    much.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

No feed items found.

  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand to send further firefighter support to Australia
    The New Zealand Government is sending a further 22 firefighters to help fight the Australian fires. “The devastation caused by these fires is taking a substantial toll on our Australian neighbours and we will continue to do what we can to assist as they deal with this extremely dynamic, dangerous ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Reducing the cost of education
    Twenty-two more schools have opted into the Government’s policy of providing $150 per child to schools who don’t ask parents for donations– bringing the total number of schools in the policy to 1,585. The Ministry of Education has accepted late opt ins past the November 14 deadline from schools that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Road deaths lower in 2019, but still more work to do
    “As we enter the new decade, my thoughts are with the families, friends and communities of the 353 people who lost their lives in road crashes last year. While the number of deaths is lower than in 2018 (377), this is still a staggering loss of life,” Duty Minister Iain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PM congratulates New Year 2020 Honours recipients
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated the diverse group of New Zealanders recognised for their contributions to the country and their communities in the New Year 2020 Honours List.   The list of 180 honours recipients includes three Dames and three Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Justice Minister congratulates first Māori Supreme Court judge on New Year’s Honour
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has congratulated The Honourable Justice Joe Williams for receiving a knighthood for services to the state. Sir Joe Williams has been appointed as a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year 2020 Honours List. “Sir Joe Williams has made an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Year honours for top sportspeople
    Twenty-one of New Zealand’s top sportspeople, coaches and leaders in the sporting community have been recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List. The Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has been made a Dame Companion and the former All Blacks Steve Hansen has been made a Knight Companion of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Leading architect of Zero Carbon Bill honoured
    It’s great to see ordinary New Zealanders doing extraordinary things, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw today said in response to the news that Lisa McLaren is included in the New Year 2020 Honours List for her exceptional work leading the campaign for the Zero Carbon Bill. Lisa McLaren was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Social entrepreneurs and innovation leads Pacific contribution
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says the New Year 2020 Honours List highlights the valuable contribution Pacific social entrepreneurs and innovators make to New Zealand, the Pacific region and the world. “The standout common factor that underlines their contribution to Aotearoa is the value they place in their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Service to birds and bush recognised in New Year Honours
    Decades of dedication to Aotearoa’s unique birds, landscapes, and native eels is recognised in the New Year 2020 Honours List said Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “I’m delighted that the decades of dedication to conservation, and fantastic leadership in giving nature a helping hand is being acknowledged,” said Eugenie Sage. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Closer Economic Partnership with Singapore comes into force on 1 January
    New Zealanders will start to see the benefits of the upgraded Closer Economic Partnership (CEP) with Singapore from 1 January 2020, when the agreement comes into force. Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker said the agreement would open more opportunities for New Zealand companies looking to do business with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago