NZCTU economist Peter Conway makes a good point about National’s spin in his latest Economic Bulletin.
After highlighting the shonky statistics behind the party’s attempts to inoculate the 1990s with its “Joanna Average” story, he goes on to point out how disingenuous the party is being in its pitch:
The disturbing part of all this is that it appears the National Party want the issue of decent incomes to be about tax & and only tax. Remember the last National Government attacked wages and conditions as well as benefits.
The 1992 benefit cuts were worth approximately $1.3 billion & about the same size of each of the tax cuts handed out in 1996 and 1998. Over 70 per cent of those tax cuts went to those in the highest incomes bands. And if for instance Joanna had been a supermarket worker in the 1990s her income over that period would have been down by 11 per cent in real terms if she worked Monday to Friday and reduced by up to 44 percent if she worked also some evening and weekend hours.
Those reductions were due to employment law. A familiar tactic which we see across the Tasman now & promise tax cuts while also planning to attack pay and conditions. The National Party supports a 90 day no-rights period of employment. If you are one of the 175,000 workers who at any one time are in their first 3 months on the job, imagine how much harder it is to support union claims for a wage increase when you know that if the boss sacks you there is no right of appeal.