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Grant Robertson Speech: Future of Work Commission results

Written By: - Date published: 2:02 pm, November 5th, 2016 - 52 comments
Categories: grant robertson, jobs, labour, Politics - Tags:

Grant Robertson

Text of the speech by Grant Robertson to the 2016 Labour Party Conference concerning the findings of the Future of Work commission.

This year my speech to conference as Finance Spokesperson is a bit different.

Normally I would regale you with the tales about Blasé Bill, our Finance Minister and Chief Accumulator of Debt.

And there is much to talk about when it comes to the economy.

Supposedly it is all going swimmingly well with growth at a bit over three percent. And some people are doing well.

But the truth is that what growth we have is really built on Bill’s sandcastle of unsustainable household debt, a grossly inflated property market and record population growth.

Many New Zealanders are not seeing the benefits of that growth. Wages are stagnant, while the cost of housing has increased massively. And we have a National government focused on the few at the top, and that is standing by as people live in cars and garages.

But as tempting as it is to go down that path, what I want to talk to you about today is one of the most ambitious projects that the Labour Party has undertaken in recent memory.

A project that is about what really matters in our economy. Decent work that gives security and opportunity, and a fair share for all in prosperity.

It is of course, The Future of Work Commission. And today we will launch the final report after two years, dozens of public meetings, hundreds of submissions and thousands of people telling us what work means to them.

At the outset I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the project, including many of you. I particularly want to acknowledge a willing group of MPs who you see here today who gamely took on leading our work across six workstreams. I want to thank them for their hard work and for only needing a gentle amount of nagging and a few minor tantrums to come up with your chapters.

I also want to make a special acknowledgement of the best researcher you will ever find. A man who carefully planned his wedding around milestones in the project. Rob Carr, you are an absolute treasure.

We quickly found willing partners outside the Party. We intentionally sought advice and guidance from a wide group of New Zealanders. Our External Reference Group of business, union and community leaders provided fantastic input. I want to note that Helen Kelly was initially on the group, and in mourning her passing I would like to think she would be pleased to see us at this milestone.

We are proud of this report, and we think that the 63 recommendations that are contained in it map a path that re-asserts in our centenary year the importance of our Party’s core values.

100 years on Labour is still the party of work and the party of workers.

So, what have we learned in this project. Well, a lot can happen in two years. When we started this project the world was a different place. The UK was staying in the EU, the idea of Donald Trump as the Republican candidate was a script for a bad reality TV show, Jeremy Corbyn was a UK Labour backbencher about to defy the Party Whip for the 489th time; and Australia was the number two ranked rugby team in the world.

So, we learned that a lot can change in a short time.

We may not be able to say with total precision what is going to happen in the future, but in Labour we are not prepared to stand by and simply let the market forces decide.

Our best approach is to prepare ourselves to be in a position to shape the future on the basis of our values and the outcomes we desire.

The pace of change in the world of work is undoubted. The uptake of technology in the digital age is at a pace estimated by McKinsey’s to be ten times that of the industrial revolution at three hundred times the scale.

The impact of artificial intelligence, 3D printing, sensors, algorithms, and robots has only scratched the surface of what is possible.

Higher levels of unemployment from rapid automation, and less full time stable work seem likely.

Along with technology, the other key factor driving change is globalisation. The movement of people around the world in search of work and security is unprecedented.

The movement of capital is similarly expansive. The combination of the two has seen the opening of markets and opportunities, but also the destruction and hollowing out of industries and jobs.

The fundamental premise of our Commission is that the Future of Work is not predestined, and it can be guided by our policies and our priorities.

Three major themes have emerged from our work.

The value of decent work

Throughout the Commission the importance that New Zealanders place on work has been reinforced. Decent incomes matter of course. In addition we need to recognise the importance of non-income benefits.There is a sense of dignity in work, and a desire for work that is fulfilling and part of doing good. This is what people value about their work – the skills they gain, the relationships they develop, the recognition they receive, and the autonomy that they are accorded. Decent work needs to include all of these.

We met a lot of people during the work of the Commission like Tiso Panapa. Tiso spoke at our Wellington seminar. He is a security guard at Work and Income. He’s paid not much more than the minimum wage, he does not have guaranteed hours. He struggles to look after his family. An unexpected bill could blow his finances apart. Tiso and his family deserve better – a higher minimum wage, actually a living wage and secure work.

We believe we must underpin all future working arrangements with the same set of values and principles regardless of their nature.

Let me be clear, strong and effective unions will, as they have in the past, play a critical role in making this happen.

Risk of growing inequality

The last two years have been marked by increased attention to the impact of inequality on our societies and our economy.

New Zealand is now the most unequal society it has ever been. Wealth has concentrated in the hands of a small group. This is wrong. It is unfair and it is not the New Zealand that Labour or any government I am part of will let continue.

Even the IMF and the World Bank are seeing that inequality is a drag on the economy!

The future of work runs the risk of increasing this inequality. As automation takes hold, there has been a hollowing-out of those ‘in the middle’ whose jobs have been associated with clerical or easily automated tasks.

Many of those in low-skill jobs have suffered the same fate with poor work conditions, low wages and high levels of insecurity.

At the same time, those with in-demand technical skills, and at management level have seen large pay increases. In New Zealand, the average chief executive salary has increased by 12% in the last year, compared with around 3% for average workers.

The lesson of this project is that the flawed logic of ‘trickledown’ economics has been fully exposed. What is now needed is a new approach that takes the opportunity offered by the changing nature of work to develop a new economic paradigm that values building wealth from the ground up.

Balance between flexibility and security

The third major theme to have emerged is the balance between flexibility and security.

The changing patterns of work, driven by technology, are already apparent. From large workplaces adopting open-plan, ‘hot desk’ environments to flexi-time arrangements, few people would recognise their workplace from even a decade ago.

Many more New Zealanders are self-employed, managing a portfolio of work that is built around their lives.

Young people in particular, talked to us not so much about the jobs that they would do in the future, but rather the work that they would create.

Early on in the project two young first year university students who had received a prize from me in their last year at secondary school visited to tell me about their holiday plans. These consisted of establishing a fully fledged design company, with clients and business cards. And you know what. They did it. They saw no boundaries or limits to what they could do in the future of work.

We have met many people, young and old, who are seeing enormous opportunity through social entrepreneurship, shared value creation and less hierarchical business models to create decent work.

The Commission is recommending that a future government support these new models of work. At the same time we must ensure that there is a balance between supporting the innovation that comes from flexibility with the right to secure and fair conditions of employment.

After two years of work, I can say that predicting whether a particular industry or job will exist or what will replace it is fruitless.

What the Commission has done is map a path that gives New Zealanders the confidence to face and lead the change.

We need to be inclusive, offering opportunity and harnessing the talents of all.

We need to be resilient to deal with the changes and shocks that are coming our way.

And we need to adapt to be able to lead the change and shape it in line with our values of fairness, sustainability and innovation.

The Future of Work Commission is proposing a new social partnership between business, government and workers that places decent work and a good standard of living for all people as our priority.

There is not time today to go into detail of all the recommendations, but they come under five broad headings.

We owe it to all those affected by the rapid change in the world of work to support a just transition.

We are proposing active labour-market policies not seen before in New Zealand.

We believe that every person who has their work disrupted or eliminated in the changing world of work needs to be supported to be trained and re-trained.

The absence of skilled workers was the number one issue that the business community raised with the Commission. We can’t rely on the market to provide, or immigration alone, to import our solutions.

We want this to be delivered through a partnership of government, business and unions to identify training needs early, and deliver on those continually, to support people into new and meaningful work.

Our specific proposal is that the government will initially fund up to six weeks of free full time training per year to workers who lose their job or have it fundamentally disrupted by technological change. This is of course in addition to the entitlement to three years free post school education and training that we have already announced.

Over time we would like to see this develop as it has in countries such as Denmark to be available across the workforce, and for it to be funded in partnership with business.

We are recommending that consideration be given to specific skill training levies in industries where businesses are not stepping up to train the next generation of workers.

Equally, for a just transition in a world where full-time paid work may become less certain, we will need to think again about income security. Part of this is in short-term income support measures, and a genuine commitment to lift minimum wages and support a living wage.

We are also recommending recognising unpaid and voluntary work as fulfilling work obligations, and further consideration of basic income provision.

The phrase just transition is of course borrowed from the environmental movement. Climate change and its global impact was ever-present in the work of the Commission.

In our report we are calling for decent work that supports our move to a low-carbon economy. We will support a just transition for those communities and workers who find their livelihoods under threat. We are backing an Independent Climate Commission to drive the shift to a low carbon economy that still delivers high wage work.

The Future of Work must also be one where we address the unjust aspects of the world of work that already exist.

Labour needs to be the party that says once and for all that we will not stand for a world where women are not valued equally to men in the world of work.

In this project we have also tried to ensure that we have responded to the calls we have heard.

One of the loudest is for the abolition of secondary tax. For people, especially younger low paid workers, two or three jobs are essential to make ends meet. It is within our power, and it is our recommendation, to get rid of this relic of a past era.

Learning for life

We live in a world where the notion of completing your training and educational journey at the end of high school is wholly inadequate.

That is why the first major policy announcement from the Future of Work Commission was for three years of free post-secondary school training and education. This is a clear statement that we want all New Zealanders to build their knowledge and skills throughout their lives. As part of this we must value far more non-university training and education, through greater support for trade training and apprenticeships.

We are recommending a focus on developing the attributes young people need in a changing world – creativity, collaboration, connectedness. We recognise the importance of science and technology, but these are only part of the picture. We need to invest in humanities, the arts and design too.

We are proposing changes in the focus of our education system to unlock the potential of every student. We need to focus less on rigid standards and assessment processes and more on the individual interests and learning needs.

This includes a strong partnership between schools, businesses and the community to support every student to have a plan for their career, for careers guidance to be an integral part of their educational experience, and for programmes that mix school and work-based learning to be available.

We are recommending the adoption of a school leavers toolkit that includes digital and financial literacy, a drivers license and the skills to be a good citizen.

We need to provide the maximum range of opportunities for training and skill development beyond school. The importance of appropriate and targeted opportunities for Māori and Pasifika communities to do this has been recognised and accepted by the Commission.

Building wealth from the ground up

The opportunity exists in the Future of Work for working people to have greater control over their economic destiny.

We need only look to the UK and the United States to see the sense of alienation felt by those who have not benefited from globalisation. This is a driving force of political change, division and instability worldwide. If New Zealand is to avoid falling victim to these forces, we need to an economy that gives everyone a stake in our success.

A core plank of this has to be a new employment relations framework that is focused on strengthening collective bargaining and enabling effective unionisation. We need to expand the rights of contractors to ensure those who would otherwise be an employee still have the right to be paid a minimum wage, join a union and participate in collective bargaining.

We are recommending a greater sense of ‘workplace democracy’. In our project this was exemplified by Air New Zealand and E Tū and other unions in their High Performance Engagement process. HPE is built around teams made up of equal number of management and workers solving problems and making plans by consensus. Once an organisation that was riven with industrial dispute, HPE is contributing to Air New Zealand being a more productive, inclusive working environment with better pay and conditions. We want to support other workplaces across New Zealand to adopt new models of workforce engagement.

New Zealand is already a nation where small and medium businesses dominate our landscape. It is also a place where innovation has thrived in our garages and workshops. We must now take the opportunity to develop this further.

We are proposing to remove the barriers to growing these types of work whether they are poor regulations, skill deficits, or a lack of capital.

There is a generation of socially minded entrepreneurs and creators of value who will make New Zealand proud if we are prepared to support them. That is why we have already announced a Young Entrepreneurs Programme to give 100 young New Zealanders the opportunity to develop their smart and innovative ideas.

We want to support every New Zealander to have opportunity in the future of work. That’s why we are proposing a goal of digital equality across all divides by 2020.

No matter where you live or what your background is, we must ensure that all our people have access to technology and the ability to understand how it can act as a tool to create better lives.

Our young Māori and Pasifika communities should be at the forefront of growing our prosperity. The message received by the Commission from these communities is that a heavy investment in education, and a partnership to support indigenous and grassroots economic development is essential to harnessing these opportunities. We accept that challenge and the desire for a partnership to make it happen.

An active and capable state

Just as the clock has turned on the failed notion of ‘trickledown economics’ so it has on the idea of a hands-off state being able to deliver a prosperous and decent future of work. Leadership and innovation in government are core requirements to a successful transition to the future of work.

The government as an active partner in economic development is essential. Throughout our project we have heard that communities and regions can see potential for their residents to live good and fulfilling lives. They are not looking to be told what to do by central government, but they do want to know that we are all in this together.

The government must use the levers it has to partner in every region in New Zealand to support sustainable and decent work. In this report, we propose business clusters as an example of how this can happen. In general, we see the need for strong regional development projects and investment in our infrastructure around New Zealand.

Similarly in all of the interactions between state and citizens we need to be looking to develop the social partnership further. For example, we are recommending culture change at Work and Income so that it is not just be a processing and transacting agency for beneficiaries, but a central point in supporting people to train, work and thrive.

Inventing the future

Our productivity and prosperity as a nation requires us to not just accept the change, but to get in front of it. To support the aspiration of future generations we need to substantially lift our game in science, research and innovation.

You know every time we held a Future of Work Conference Simon Bridges put out a release about a pizza delivery robot or drone. That is not good enough. We must not simply be just the test-bed for others’ ideas and inventions, but be the designers and inventors.

We are proposing that ICT become our second largest contributor to GDP by 2025.

We are going to reform government procurement to give Kiwi firms a fair go. No more Hillside Workshop closures.

We are recommending a sustained and significant lift in our investment in research and development in the public and private sector if we are to lift productivity. This will include an investment in basic science, research, better collaboration between government and private sector, and a shared vision for how to harness all of that to create decent work.

Delegates, this is a big agenda. It can not all be implemented at once. It requires a long term view. At our conference last year I quoted the words of former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam, when he said his country was faced with a choice between the fears and the habits of the past and the demands and opportunities of the future. Through the Commission, we have laid out the framework that embraces the demands and opportunities of the future of work.

I urge you to read our report. There are some copies available today- and you can find it on our website. Share it with your friends and family. You will not find any other political party that is stepping up to the challenge of plotting a path through this rapidly changing world. It is our historic mission – to build a better and fairer New Zealand. We will do that by investing in people and giving them the confidence to face the changing world.

There is reason to be optimistic about New Zealand’s future and the future of work generally.

If we are prepared to make clear and positive policy choices.

If we are prepared to renew a social partnership.

If we support a business sector that is innovative and inclusive.

And if we give workers a stake in their future and the opportunity to build wealth from the ground up.

One hundred years on from the women and men who banded together to give political voice to the hopes and aspirations of working people, through this Future of Work Commission we are re-asserting Labour as the party that has the vision for decent work that gives New Zealanders a sense of purpose and a chance to shape a prosperous future for them and their families.

Thank you.

52 comments on “Grant Robertson Speech: Future of Work Commission results ”

  1. Richard Rawshark 1

    I love the scrapping of secondary tax Grant.., that’s excellent. In fact you made a good set of policies there sir.

    lets hope tomorrow the media take it as good and don’t decide to attack it.

    Is there going to be any announcements on how disabilities and winz laws are applied?

    Or is that someone else and your focus is on employment?

    I would do volunteer work but no way could I know what I can do each hour/day/week.

    Or is it directed at the able bodied.

    critiques?

    Only two major points I thought needed addressing regarding equality.

    Pay parity between the sexes.

    People in the caring profession-urgent that one as Nat’s have stalled the pay on that though appealing.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I thought IRD was already planning to get rid of secondary tax as part of their computer upgrade.

      • Chuck 1.1.1

        Yep, IRD business transformation programme is to address the PAYE system, including secondary tax and end-of-year square-ups.

        Winston Peters will be on the news wire as well…he accused Labour of stealing NZF policy (scrap secondary tax) back in 2014.

        So I think no matter who is in power come 2017, secondary tax will be history.

        • Richard Rawshark 1.1.1.1

          Jeez, Winston always bloody says people steal his policies, fuck me I bet he accused lenin and marx of stealing fucking communism.

          I built a freaking computer 2-3 days ago, big up’s to Winston who I stole the idea from. /not sarc

    • red-blooded 1.2

      The speech did address pay parity: “Labour needs to be the party that says once and for all that we will not stand for a world where women are not valued equally to men in the world of work.”

  2. Richard Rawshark 2

    Abolishing the secondary tax rate, got to be good for everyone that, specially when people have top do multiple part times to make up a week.

    As for IRD’s upgrade, going by the other upgrades, it could get nasty..

    abolishing tax altogether no doubt. Oo

    • Anne 2.1

      Secondary tax is going… going… and by the end of next year if we have a Lab/Green govt… IT’S GONE. No ifs or buts, if the language used by Grant Robertson today is any indication.

      Also, the management style of WINZ is going to change. The bullying, punishing aspect of the current culture will go and it will once again be an organisation that assists people with their problems be they employment or whatever. In other words… putting the ‘caring’ back into the equation.

      • Richard Rawshark 2.1.1

        Thanks Anne for that.

        Not many seek special treatment, or more than they need, just respect, dignity and not to be judged.

        Sounds like you have a plan to restore Winz to how it should be, and if you succeed I promise to vote labour until the day I die. how’s that for a deal.

      • Chess Player 2.1.2

        I’ll be very interested in how they are going to do that, when the jobs people need are created by people outside WINZ and therefore outside of their control?
        No amount of caring will help for very long if the jobs aren’t there or the people aren’t aligned with them geographically or skills-wise?

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    The report is available online.

    You could move my comment to this thread or just put the links in your post.

  4. Simon 4

    Secondary tax is a misnomer. If people apply at the end of the tax year, they get any over-payment on total income back.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      They key words being “if” and “end of the tax year”.

    • Kay 4.2

      If you’re on a benefit and able to work a few hours (especially applicable to long term disabled who will never be able to fully come off said benefit) then any employment is taxed secondary as benefits are taxed. With all the punishments for having the audacity to even work a few hours it’s possible to find yourself coming away with only $5/hr extra for your toil on top of all the paperwork. Many moons ago it was possible to do a tax return just with your benefit income and actually get a small return but naturally they took care of that. So getting a refund on the secondary tax when you’re also concurrently at war with WINZ? Yeah, right.

      That’s a big reason many of us choose voluntary work if we are able to manage a few hours. While of course we need the extra money the stress isn’t worth it. Plus contributing to society is always a nice thing to do, politicians should try it sometime.

      • Richard Rawshark 4.2.1

        Plus contributing to society is always a nice thing to do, politicians should try it sometime.

        ouch 🙂

    • Vaughan Crimmins 4.3

      They do get a refund of the overpayment, but it presents a very limiting position on anyone receiving a disability payment when the secondary job is their greater weekly source of income. Hardly a misnomer when despite an end of tax year refund, if they complete a tax return. And I guess some don’t. The refund does not include any interest which the payee could have received if the very high tax was not taken in the first place. Poor use of W & I service?

  5. Chess Player 5

    The best thing any government could do to stimulate economic growth in the regions would be to show real leadership, not just talk, and move more govt operations out of the cities.
    In this day and age, with the technologies available, there is no reason that the workforce cannot be dispersed in small to medium-sized groups that physically work together, so that there is a mix of face to face contact (which most humans need) and use digital contact methods for the rest of their interactions. The CEO of Xero lives in the Hawkes Bay for pete’s sake…and plenty of private sector entrepreneurs are not bound by geography.
    Every person that moves to the regions needs somewhere to live, to get their car fixed (if they still need one), a school for their kids, entertainment, etc etc. This all creates jobs and provides flow on opportunities for others, as people spend the majority of their earnings locally.
    I realise this means that the average, city-based, bureaucracy-based public servant will need to deal with change, but frankly given the perspective of some I’ve dealt with over the years that would be good thing.
    I also realise this is a hard ask to expect the spouses of the public service senior managers to take one for the team and move away from the bright lights and David Jones and embassy cocktails, but if many are to benefit, a few may have to make a sacrifice.
    As much as Robertson and others decry Globalisation, when you look at what the public service itself has done (particularly under the 4th Labour govt), there has been a ton of centralisation and rationalisation in the public service itself over the last 30 years and this has contributed as much as anything else to the decline in the regions. Time to redress the balance.
    I am certainly not suggesting a return to the bad old days when extra unnecessary cost was laboured onto the NZ public – I distinctly remember being asked by my manager in the early 80s to quickly order 20 desks and 17 chairs that no-one actually needed (there were only 12 in the office and desks/chairs had been renewed the previous year) prior to the end of the financial year so the allocated budget was not lost the next year. This transition could be managed in a pragmatic and cost-effective way, over a period of time (coinciding with CEO-retirement/replacement…) if the desire was strong enough.
    Not expecting the above to happen, of course, as it requires decision-making and action (and no, meetings or round-table-working-groups or whatever you want to call them do not constitute action), both of which are foreign concepts for the career pollys and bench warmers in Wellington, but I do reckon it could work.

    • Richard Rawshark 5.1

      Well your first part seems it should be directed at the current government? Surely, as they have been around long enough now.

      I know what you mean by budgets, but that is a way of life, and was back then, they also blew out budgets too, and the old if you didn’t spend it you obviously don’t need it mantra I suspect still holds true. Surely there is a better way, but i’m no accountant. you would think they would have a handle on that by now, but with GFC’s putting pressure on economies, budget managers do what they have to do.

      Strategies for rejuvenating the regions, sadly, if house prices keep skyrockettng and traffic gets worse in Auckland it’ll happen without any need to interfere, businesses will relocate the instant the bottom line drops. or the difficulties of doing business outweigh the benefits.

      Already around Tokoroa Cambridge etc there are a lot of home workers who dial in as there is no need fopr them to be present at the office it is a growing trend and it would be nicer to work from home so I am all for that progressing quicker.

      Will the governments push it, lets hope so.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        I know what you mean by budgets, but that is a way of life, and was back then, they also blew out budgets too, and the old if you didn’t spend it you obviously don’t need it mantra I suspect still holds true. Surely there is a better way, but i’m no accountant. you would think they would have a handle on that by now, but with GFC’s putting pressure on economies, budget managers do what they have to do.

        There is as far as government services go – you give them an open cheque book and define the services that they need to deliver. Do an audit every now and then to ensure that they can justify the spending.

        The money that they spend is created money which then helps to maintain the private sector.

  6. Leftie 6

    Excellent work from Labour, well done.

    Grant Robertson says; “The era of ‘trickle down economics’ is over.”

    <a href="http://www.labour.org.nz/a_plan_for_the_future?utm_campaign=161104_fow&utm_medium=email&utm_source=nzlabour

    I like that.

    • fisiani 6.1

      There never was an era of trickle down economics and he who”polished up the handle of the big brass door” well knows that. That tired old canard keeps getting recycled as if it were true but nobody is buying it. The buffon does not realise he is quoting comedian Will Rogers.

      Origins. The first reference to trickle-down economics came from American comedian and commentator Will Rogers, who used it to derisively describe President Herbert Hoover’s stimulus efforts during the Great Depression.

      No one has ever proposed such a ludicrous suggestion let alone implemented it.It is rightly risable.

      • Richard Rawshark 6.1.1

        In New Zealand, Labour Party MP Damien O’Connor has, in the Labour Party campaign launch video for the 2011 general election, called trickle-down economics “the rich pissing on the poor”.[16]
        A 2012 study by the Tax Justice Network indicates that wealth of the super-rich does not trickle down to improve the economy, but tends to be amassed and sheltered in tax havens with a negative effect on the tax bases of the home economy.[17]

        FYI, not having a go, just posting info.

      • Richard Rawshark 6.1.2

        I considered the tax cut to the rich exactly that, now you can argue symantics, but the end result that was intended is ..trickle down economics.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.3

        There never was an era of trickle down economics

        Yes there is. It’s the faulty logic that was used to justify cutting taxes on the rich while increasing taxes upon the poor (GST).

    • Richard Rawshark 6.2

      Yeah finally leftie, it’s getting binned, alongside greed is good and other neolib top twenty tunes.

      • fisiani 6.2.1

        You dont get it… do you? A comedian’s joke is now enshrined in the Left as a Fact when it is no such thing. There has never been trickle down economics , Get it! It was satire. O’Connor and the Tax Network don’t get it either.
        If I said “Is the Pope a Catholic?” I’m sure you would also think I was asking a question about religion. The Left do not get humour, how else could you explain Andrew Little, a leader supported by just 4 colleagues.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.1

          No, you’re the one that doesn’t get it.

          NZ govt policies of the last thirty years are an actual implementation of Trickle Down Economics. Cutting taxes on the rich and business in the hopes that they would then invest the extra money in more innovation.

          So, no, you can’t tell us it doesn’t exist.

  7. Richard Rawshark 7

    Giving the rich a tax cut at the start of the GFC .. a joke..

    then no I don’t get it, at all.

    So someone labelled giving the rich tax cuts as pineapples.

    Pineapples sux.. end of

  8. fisiani 8

    I feel your pain. Behind in the polls and dropping. Not winning the argument. No one has ever tweeted “NZ Labour win” The prudent and cautious multi-faceted reforms and improvements of the last 8 years are really showing great results. Do you not know that NZ has been ranked No1 for ease of doing business in the WORLD.

    • Barfly 8.1

      By a Right wing think tank…oh joy

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      And along with that we have increasing poverty and inequality.

      Ease of doing business doesn’t actually help the majority of people.

    • Richard Rawshark 8.3

      Not winning the argument

      Classic!

      In all my life whenever someone said that to me, it was because they had no reply and just started accusing me of losing the argument.

    • Richard Rawshark 8.4

      Why? ehy are we the easiest nation in the world to do business?

      it’s a lovely sound bite, slogan, talking point, can you explain to me though why?

      What action did National take to make NZ jump so many places past Norway even and then we can get down to discussing that.

      ps reading your comment apparently you have 8 years worth of them so it shouldn’t be hard..tic toc

      • Draco T Bastard 8.4.1

        Another question to ask these RWNJs: Why is it so important to be a place where it’s easy to do business? Aren’t business people capable of reading the rules and sticking to them?

  9. Barfly 9

    To Fisiani at 8.0

    ” improvements of the last 8 years”

    Record inequality

    Lowest home ownership in decades

    Record foreign ownership of housing stock

    Record growth of children living in poverty

    Record importation of unskilled Labour

    Record demand for Foodbanks

    Record Government indebtedness

    Record levels of corporate welfare

    Record sales of Government legislation to foreign corporations

    Record growth in underemployment

    Record juking of government statistics collection

    Record water pollution

    Jeez there’s soo much I’ve bound to have left a few off this list

    Rockstar economy?…..Sheesh only if that rockstar is Gary Glitter you arsehat

    • Simon 9.1

      You’d think that with all these issues, Labour would be able to get traction in the electorate…but they don’t (why?)

      • Richard Rawshark 9.1.1

        They do, have faith don’t believe anything but the votes on election day. The rest is open to interpretation.

    • Richard Rawshark 9.2

      It’s ok Barfly, even on the specifics of easier trade fisi fell into a classic trap, he believed the corrupt MSM and spouted the lines, however there is a really good reason they post those in the media and lock down commenting..

      But Fisi still believes anything he’s told by the sound of it and just cannot question his beliefs.

      It’s classic mental health, my CBT showed me what I was doing ,and I see it everywhere, you think something is true but never think to question yourself or that belief. doing the old, is there any other reason this could be happening helps you adjust to a more truthful outlook and one I hope he reads and gets.

      • fisiani 9.2.1

        Next you’ll be claiming the election is rigged!!!!!

      • Draco T Bastard 9.2.2

        It’s classic mental health, my CBT showed me what I was doing ,and I see it everywhere, you think something is true but never think to question yourself or that belief.

        Yep, been there, done that. And, as you say, once you recognise it in yourself you see it everywhere.

    • fisiani 9.3

      On just one of those claims you have a valid point.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        They’re all valid points because they’re all true.

        National is trashing the economy for the rich to get richer. That’s more Trickle Down Economics for you.

      • Richard Rawshark 9.3.2

        Thanks Fisi, is this a more reasoned you I shall see in the future?, nothing like good debating over good politics, and at then end one idea that comprises of the best of both. That’s actually what I thought politics meant.

        Not whatever A says is right and whatever B says is wrong, because never shall we work together..

    • greg 9.4

      record trade deficit

  10. Barfly 10

    To Fisiani at 9.3
    Well Fisiani you are a funny guy…just not the “haha” type of funny
    Soo….where are your refutations? Some people think that you are somewhat deluded…frankly I think you know exactly what you are doing…and that your lying, dissembling and misdirecting is all quite deliberate. May God have mercy on you…I wouldn’t

  11. Richard Rawshark 11

    I wondered why Fisiani did not get back to me with some points about easier trade.

    National did make doing business easier in NZ, and had wanted to discuss the consequences of their tax law changes.

    In some respects they may be good, for setting up here, and paying the flat tax rates they set. Does this make NZ better or does it allow competing industries in, increasing internal competition and money leaving offshore.

    Examples I would have used is the various dairy farms that have been purchased by oversea’s businesses.

    I didn’t get much back..

    the point of making business easier he took immediately as a positive for the government..i want to get to why people think that is..

  12. Ad 12

    “Tempting as it is to go down that path”????? Are you fucking kidding?

    Bernard hickey in the NZ Herald this morning easily critiques the hollow economic growth with no wage or productivity increases, tonnes more NEETS, and Auckland house prices heading for $2m average, but the prospective Minister of Finance can’t.

    Instead Robertson gives a speech of pre-announced goop.

    English and Key are sleepwalking to a 2017 …….

  13. Cinny 13

    STANDING OVATION

    Now that’s what I’m talking about 🙂 massive kudos for this kind of forward thinking.

  14. Kevin 14

    ‘But as tempting as it is to go down that path’

    What a strange statement to make.

  15. Jenny 15

    “The phrase just transition is of course borrowed from the environmental movement. Climate change and its global impact was ever-present in the work of the Commission.
    In our report we are calling for decent work that supports our move to a low-carbon economy.”

    Climate change gets a small nod, from Grant.

    Good.

    Climate change needs to underpin all talk of the future of work, in an acknowledgement that all work that involves the extraction and distribution, or any other work that results in the burning of fossil fuels is over.*

    This includes, but is not limited to; All deep sea oil drilling off our coasts, All current and especially newly planned coal mine operations, The cancellation of all multi $billion motorway projects like the Waterview Tunnel and the Second Habour Crossing and switching that money into public transport instead, The ending of all fossil fuel subsidies.

    *(or at least, well past when it should have been over).

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