Inevitably, reaction from some to the post showing incomes fell 6.1% under National between 1990 and 1997 has not been horror at the fact the incomes of Kiwis went down but ‘so, I bet the Labour-led Governments haven’t done better’. Bet again.
The median income in 1997 was 6.1% lower than the median income was when National came to power in 1990, again inflation-adjusted. (source)
It’s no accident this happened, it was the result of the policy choices the two governments made. In coming posts, we’ll look at the minimum wage over periods of National government and Labour government – the most direct way a government can force down or raise up the incomes of private sector workers. And, because the righties next line is ‘it’s the economy, stupid – National had it tough, Labour had it easy’, we’ll see how even the weak growth that National did manage was not passed on to working Kiwis, while incomes for working Kiwis have actually risen slightly faster than the economy as a whole under the Labour-led governments, meaning working Kiwis got a shrinking slice of the pie under National and that trend has reversed under Labour.
Remember, the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour. National has a record of forcing wages down, their leader has been quoted saying he “would love to see wages drop“, and they have released a workplace policy with no provisions for increasing wages but plenty of changes that would force them lower.