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Says it all

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, September 14th, 2009 - 17 comments
Categories: john key, national/act government, workers' rights - Tags:

From the firefighters’ protest against John Key’s pay freeze:

6n_firefighters_110909_320

Really highlights the double standard in a government that tolerates Bill English’s rorts then has the cheek to turn around and tell the rest of us to show restraint.

On another note, it was interesting to see in the 3 News piece John Key using private sector pay freezes as an excuse not to give these firefighters a pay rise. It’s the same argument English is using for the rest of the public sector.

Funny thing is, when I talk to my friends in the unions they tell me private sector employers are justifying their zero wage offers by referencing the government’s public sector wage freeze.

This is usually followed by “we’ve all got to be aware of what’s happening out there, you know, plenty of people are taking a pay cut this year, why you’re just lucky you’ve got a job at all.”

Which, in essence, is basically what John Key told the firefighters in the picture. For a man who claims he wants wages to rise John Key sure seems to spend a lot of time talking them down.

17 comments on “Says it all ”

  1. Tim Ellis 1

    I can’t speak for other private sector organisations Eddie, but where I work the justification for a headcount freeze and nil baseline increases is that we have a recession. It isn’t because of the public sector.

    It seems to me that Labour doesn’t quite understand the impact of an economic recession. Labour is pushing for increased redundancy provisions and higher wage increases throughout the economy but doesn’t understand there is less money to go around. If you try and ratchet up wages in a recession then more jobs will be lost.

    • r0b 1.1

      It seems to me that Labour understands the nature and impact of recessions a whole lot better than National. Labour spent 9 years reducing debt and strengthening the economy because they knew this day would come. Labour had a thorough and detailed response to the recession planned – National have a “cycleway”?

      Labour didn’t make obviously unsustainable promises about tax cuts to win an election and then turn right around cancel them with unseemly haste. National told us that tax cuts stimulate growth and would be the centre piece of their response to the recession. They obviously didn’t believe a word of it or they wouldn’t have cancelled them. Mean time Labour have been consistent – we need a high wage high savings well educated society.

      National haven’t a clue. They have no constructive response to the recession. Their only course of action has been the old conservative instinct to retreat back in to their shell – cut cut cut – how unambitious. So, sorry Tim, It seems to me that Labour understands the nature and impact of recessions a whole lot better than National.

      • Tim Ellis 1.1.1

        This would explain why r0b Labour’s spending plans would add $6 billion in debt, and why after nine years of Labour government we have a decade of deficits ahead of us.

        This would explain why Labour went into an election governing over a country that entered a recession nine months before the US markets crashed.

        Nice to see you have more faith in the Labour Party to come up with the answers than the public do though.

        Captcha: “Learnings”. I hate that word.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.1.1.1

          Timmeh!!

          How much debt would Brash have saddled us with?

          How much influence did helicopter ben have on staving off a US market crash, and dop you think our RB should have followed his lead?

        • r0b 1.1.1.2

          $6 billion in debt, and why after nine years of Labour government we have a decade of deficits ahead of us.

          Labour would spend money to make money – for the country. National are taking on debt – to give tax cuts to those that don’t need them. Spot the difference?

          entered a recession nine months before the US markets crashed.

          NZ headed in to recession along with several other countries. But the reasons for it were little to do with the Labour government. According to
          Allan Bollard:

          “The international financial crisis actually played little role in the early part of New Zealand’s economic recession. Rather, it was drought, falling house prices and high petrol prices that dragged New Zealand GDP growth negative over the first three quarters of 2008″.

          Nice to see you have more faith in the Labour Party to come up with the answers than the public do though

          Let me know when Labour get as low in the polls as National after the 1999 election Tim!

          • Tim Ellis 1.1.1.2.1

            Labour would spend money to make money for the country. National are taking on debt to give tax cuts to those that don’t need them. Spot the difference?

            Buying Toll was a good example of this how, r0b? Does paying three times the value for a train set demonstrate your idea of “spending money to make money”?

            You know National’s tax cuts weren’t funded by debt. They were fully funded by making changes to kiwisaver.

          • r0b 1.1.1.2.2

            Buying Toll was a good example of this how, r0b? Does paying three times the value for a train set demonstrate

            The “train set” framing is pathetic Tim, grow up. Figures on the “three times the value” claim please. The KiwiRail buy back was a very popular move, and National have adopted KiwiRail as part of their response to the recession and infrastructure spending, only possible because Labour were ambitious enough to recover this vital asset for NZ.

            your idea of “spending money to make money’?

            You conservatives have no idea what to do Tim, so all you can manage is to whine and criticise those that were taking action. Its unambitious and its boring.

    • If employers can afford to pay, which is partly what negotiation is used to determine, then they should. The recession has not uniformly affected all economic activity in NZ. So it is dishonest, to put it politely, for ‘Double Dipton‘ and the PM to be publicly manufacturing consent for a proxy wage freeze for those with some bargaining power. It amounts to the usual tory union busting behaviour.

  2. lprent 2

    That placard really does say it all. Rather than deal with the issue the government simply raises the entitlement. The turns around and pleads hardship.

    Perhaps they should reverse the taxcuts. Then they’d be able to afford cost of living increases.

    The taxcuts simply dropped into a hole. The didn’t stimulate the economy. Are not showing up in investment. In fact they have effectively disappeared. The only effect has been for the government to run out of money

  3. ieuan 3

    I get totally sick of this ‘tax them until they bleed’ attitude that comes from Iprent and others around here.

    I’m happy to pay my taxes but I want a government that sends this money responsibility. That applies to both Labour and National.

    Every single Minister that sits on a budget should treat the money as if it is coming out of their own pocket, tax money doesn’t come from some bottomless pit to be thrown around on some gigantic spend-a-thon.

    Taxes come from ordinary harding working New Zealanders and if the government spends more than they receive some future tax payer has to cover the debt.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I get totally sick of this ‘tax them until they bleed’ attitude that comes from Iprent and others around here.

      If we want and need the services provided, and we do, then we need to pay for them. This is done by taxing people.

      Taxes come from ordinary harding working New Zealanders and if the government spends more than they receive some future tax payer has to cover the debt.

      So, what’s with the tax cuts to the rich who exploit everyone else for their income and are, in reality, worthless?

    • lprent 3.2

      Actually I’d agree with almost all of that.

      However, I think that the taxcuts last year from both Labour and National were a bad idea. We’d been running tax-take surpluses for a number of years and using them to run down and eliminate the Muldoon, Douglas and Richardson debt. It was pretty damn obvious in 2007 (personally I’d say 2006) that we were heading into a recession and the governments costs would rise while their income would decrease.

      So both parties went into a taxcut bidding war. That was outright foolishness. What I’m suggesting is that a responsible government would reverse all of those tax changes

  4. Mike 4

    I don’t think moving the top tax rate to 39 cents in the dollar from 38 cents is really ‘taxing them till they bleed’ but then I’m not an ideologue.

  5. George.com 5

    For the type of work they do, I think the fire fighters do deserve a pay increase. With inflation calculated at 1.9% a cost of living increase at the minimum is justified. As for the likes of nurses, teachers, prison guards etc getting ‘large pay increases’, I suspect if Bill English released actual figures it would show the increases of the last few years are cost of living or thereabouts. An exception wouldbe the nurses large pay increase of a few ywars back.

  6. not the real Ken Douglas 6

    The rort is not only in the public sector it happens on a daily basis in the private sector. For instance look at Air NZ’s CEO Rob Fyfe. Back in May Fyfe publishes, in his weekly blog, a wage fix of 2.5% for those earning less than $50,000, a 2.0% to 1% increase for those earning between $50k-$80k and nothing for those earning above $80k. Sighting “the impact of the economic recession” as the reason for this wage fix.

    Further on in his blog he adds “the freeze on base pay and terms and conditions that is already in affect for myself and my direct reports will continue” low and behold come August 27 when the financial records are released he gets a whopping $2.28 million but hey his wage didn’t increase it was just his bonus…….

    I won’t start on Paul Reynolds

    What is the fix? Organise!

    IrishBill: While I agree with your sentiment we have a policy about identity theft. I’ve adjusted your handle accordingly. Please make sure that if you comment here again you do so under your own name or a unique handle.

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