In his recent speech to the National Party Conference, John Key was smiling and waving as usual:
I also want to pay a special acknowledgement to my friend and deputy, Bill English. What a great job he is doing as Finance Minister. He’s delivered two Budgets that have steered New Zealand out of recession and put the economy firmly back on track to grow and create jobs.
I’m sure the assembled knobs lapped it up and clapped enthusiastically. What planet do they live on I wonder? Back on planet Earth in the pavlova paradise called New Zealand, unemployment is up and job queues are getting longer.
Back in January Eddie wrote a piece — The sharpest edge of the recession — on how 2,500 people had queued for 150 jobs at a newly opening supermarket. Well after another 6 months of great economic management from John and Bill, that figure has shifted. It’s gone up. This time 2,700 people queued:
2700 applicants for 150 jobs
When a new supermarket opened today in Auckland it created 150 new jobs, but that was a small comfort for the 2550 people who applied for jobs there and missed out.
Labour leader Phil Goff arrived in Wellington mid-morning today because he had been opening a New World supermarket in his Mt Roskill electorate. The owner operator told Mr Goff 2700 people had applied for the 150 positions created in the new store. “I had to ask the question – where is John Key’s recovery for the ordinary people in my electorate?”
Where indeed. Tories like to portray the unemployed as lazy layabouts who just need to get up off the sofa and get a job. Next time you meet such a tory, here’s your answer. The people are looking for work. Thousands of them. But the jobs aren’t there. In a further reality check for the government:
Mr Goff said supermarket owners had told him this was the worst period they could remember in retailing and they were concerned about further impacts from the rise in GST. “People are finding it hard to make ends meet now, that extra two and a half percent on top of all their groceries is just going to make life harder for them.”
How much more great economic management from John and Bill can the country stand?