Vernon Small on Stuff:
Labour puts storms behind it as Little navigates into calmer waters
This year, though, Little deserves some of the credit for the preternatural sense of order and relative serenity.
James Shaw described him as “unflappable” during the Green co-leader’s symbolic cameo. Little’s deputy Annette King went for “no frills”, though what to make of her revelation Little knows all the words to Bob Marley’s Redemption Song? (“Old pirates, yes, they rob I”, is the first line in case you need reminding.)
Neither that, nor the triumphant music that normally attends a leader’s entry for a keynote speech, was on offer on Sunday. Instead it was a short Labour “values” video that hammered out the theme ‘”time to change the Government”, a standing ovation and Little was on deck. His policy gambit was a plan to pay long term unemployed young people the minimum wage for six months to do community and conservation work.
It drove home the conference’s emphasis on Labour’s core message; jobs; which included the release of the substantial investigation into the Future of Work. …
Claire Trevett in The Herald:
Labour’s $60m plan for 6 months’ paid work for youth on dole
Labour leader Andrew Little says a proposal to give unemployed young people six months of full-time community work at the minimum wage will not be compulsory but there will be an expectation they take part – and possible sanctions if they don’t.
Little released the policy at the party’s annual conference in Auckland, where the focus is on jobs.
Expected to cost $60 million a year, it will provide unemployed people under the age of 24 with “jobs” in the community and environment, such as pest control work or riparian planting with the Department of Conservation, local councils or charities such as City Missions and food banks.
Dubbed “Ready for Work” it will be for those who have been on the dole for at least six months – but will pay the minimum wage of $15.25 an hour rather than the dole.
Little said 74,000 young people were not in work or training and there were now more than 10,000 unemployed people aged under 24 than a decade ago and Labour believed all young New Zealanders should be in work or training.
Andrew Little revs up party faithful: ‘It’s neck and neck’
Labour leader Andrew Little has used his speech at the party’s annual conference to rev up the party faithful, saying the next election would be “a straight fight and I’m up for it”.
Delivering his second speech as leader to the Labour Party annual conference, Little said the last two years under his leadership been about getting Labour ready to win.
“The results of the local elections show we can campaign to win. The polls show it’s a neck and neck race between the centre-left and centre-right blocs. “This is a straight fight and I’m up for it, we’re up for it.”
The centre-piece of Little’s speech was policy of a jobs scheme to put unemployed people aged under 24 into jobs in the community on the minimum wage.
He said National was in denial about the housing crisis. … He also pledged to end homelessness, saying people were living in cars.
“How the hell does that happen in a country like ours? When did we decide that was the kind of place we wanted to be.?”
Little also paid a tribute to former Council of Trade Unions’ head Helen Kelly, who died from cancer three weeks ago.
Toby Manhire at The Spinoff:
Andrew Little rolls out the rug for a Labour tilt at power in 2017
The Labour Party conference concluded with a fire-in-belly speech from Andrew Little.
The centrepiece policy announcement was “Ready for Work”, a programme to provide temporary employment for young people not in education, training or employment; and while parts of it seemed kind of woolly – the costings, the degree of compulsion, the vague models of similar success that Little cited – in the scheme of things it’s not a huge policy plank: ticking the right symbolic boxes without attempting to any almighty game-changing status.
I thought it was a solid speech. There were no wild rhetorical flourishes, but Little recognises that’s not his metier – just as John Key recognises it isn’t his – and registered a respectable fire-in-belly score, without lapsing into anything that might excite the National Party’s “Angry Andrew” monitoring corps. The declamation that “polls show it’s a neck and neck race between the centre-left and centre-right blocs” is debatable, but it’s not an outrageous thing to say, and the floor wanted to hear it. “You look like a party ready to win an election,” Little told them. I don’t know about that, but they were at least paying attention.
On the Sunday evening television news… One, or TVNZ 1 or whatever it’s called, and TV3 or Newshub, or whatever it’s called … On 1, the thrust of the story was the policy, and questions over whether or not the costings were overly optimistic, with Steven Joyce, who was reliably tweeting his rebuttal to the policy even before it had emerged from Little’s mouth, shaking his head in disappointed delight.
Over on 3, the coverage was comparatively effusive, especially the sign-off: “With Andrew Little, it seems Labour has finally found a leader who can rally the troops to take on Brand Key.” …
Andrea Vance on 1 News Now:
Labour proposing to offer unemployed young Kiwis paid volunteer work for six months
The $60 million a year scheme would give community and Department of Conservation jobs to those claiming Job Seekers allowance. They would get minimum wage and gain work experience and new skills.
Leader Andrew Little said: “Think of the talent we are wasting. Young people with 40 years of their working lives still ahead of them, but who aren’t getting any skills, who aren’t getting any experience.”
“Think of the thousands of young people with no prospects, with no hope, who feel like everyone’s given up on them. Well I’m telling you this: we are not going to give up”…
Dan Satherley and Lloyd Burr on Newshub:
Labour promises jobs for the unemployed Updated
Young and struggling to find a job? Labour’s promising to give you one.
Under Labour’s Ready for Work proposal, announced today at the party’s annual conference in Auckland, anyone under 24 who’s been on the Jobseeker’s Allowance for six months will be offered a job by the Government.
“We will give these young Kiwis the kick-start they need to get back on the right track,” said leader Andrew Little. “This job experience will help them develop strong work ethics and make them more attractive to employers. We will get them ready for work.
Yesterday Labour also said it was considering a levy on businesses that don’t train and upskill their employees.
That last point is the one that some of the usual shills have run with of course, and naturally business isn’t keen, but other than that, some pretty decent coverage for Labour, for Little, and for a successful conference.
Labour's youth employment scheme looks a lot like UK schemes that have been shown to have v large net benefits https://t.co/pJGV5Y32qw
— Max Rashbrooke (@MaxRashbrooke) November 6, 2016