We always said that a National/ACT government would be anti-worker but I’m surprised by how blatant they are being about it. In a series of hasty, secretive laws, they’ve put up taxes on workers, cut their Kiwisaver, and removed their work rights for the first 90 days of employment. Now, they have officially dropped the goal of full employment.
The Government’s Policy Targets Agreement with the Reserve Bank contains a statement of the Government’s economic policy. Formerly it read:
The objective of the Government’s economic policy is to promote sustainable and balanced economic development in order to create full employment, higher real incomes and a more equitable distribution of incomes. Price stability plays an important part in supporting the achievement of wider economic and social objectives.
National/ACT has changed that to:
The Government’s economic objective is to promote a growing, open and competitive economy as the best means of delivering permanently higher incomes and living standards for New Zealanders. Price stability plays an important part in supporting this objective.
Spot what’s missing? Yup. National/ACT has removed the commitment to full employment and equitable distribution of income. With their tax increases for middle incomes and tax cuts for the rich, removal of work rights, and scrapping of job-intensive investment in home insulation, they have already started on a path that will see the rich get richer while the rest of us get poorer and unemployment goes up. Expect them to do worse in the coming years. Merry Christmas.