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Labour: who’s gonna get it?

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 pm, October 30th, 2007 - 30 comments
Categories: rumour, workers' rights - Tags: ,

Coming into an election when work rights is going to be a major issue, we’ve heard Ruth Dyson will be relinquishing her labour portfolio tomorrow.

The big question is who’s going to pick it up?

Across the ditch work rights has become the defining issue of the upcoming election and given National’s desperate attempts to innoculate the 1990s and their dire effects on working New Zealanders, we suspect it will be a big issue come 2008.

Witness the CTU’s stance on a $15 an hour minimum wage and the EPMU’s recent Labour Day campaign and you’ll see that the left’s answer to National’s obsession with tax cuts can only be higher wages and better conditions.

So who’s up for it?

30 comments on “Labour: who’s gonna get it? ”

  1. Leftie 1

    Hell yes ….it’s about time

    The National Party: Lets pretend we care about workers and then when we win the general election, surprise! Your tax cut aint worth shite.

    Almost makes you wish that National will win as in my opinion some voters need a wakeup call. Sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way.

  2. That’s a choice bit of Goss, alright. I see Chris Blake started last week as the new CE. New CE, new Minister – it could be really energising…or it could be a bloody disaster.

  3. Santa Claws 3

    So Tiny, can you explain how shafting the economy by raising the minimum wage, and therefore tipping more billions into Cullen’s bribe-pot, is better for workers than returning some of their hard-earned dollars that he already takes?

    Or are you suggesting that Labour is about to use the surplus to subsidise employers?

  4. djp 4

    Got to agree with Santa on this one, raising the minimum wage without any corresponding productivity increase would just be inflationary. So we all move up the tax brackets (pay more tax) and prices rise.. Perfect!

  5. Robinsod 5

    Claws – Kiwis are underpaid. It’s a fact bro. If you look at the gap between Aussie and Kiwi wages (an example the Nats like to use) you’ll see it’s way more than tax cuts could ever cover. Unless you want a 30% tax cut of course. Oh and Claws? Fuck off.

  6. Santa Claws 6

    Robespierre, so why doesn’t labour legislate for wages equal to Australia then? According to your logic it is that simple – just do a Muldoon in reverse.

  7. Robinsod 7

    Claws – I said “Fuck off”

  8. djp 8

    Robinsod: how do you propose to raise Kiwi wages? Minimum wage up to $50 per hour… $100? We would all be rich! Yes we would all be rich like the Zimbabweans.

  9. Get that Claws? Robinsod told you to fuck off. Twice.

    Instead of actually dealing with the issue, like why it is that Australians are getting wealthier far faster than New Zealanders. The Left’s solution? Raise the minimum wage. It kinda overlooks that the real wealth isn’t by mandating higher wages, which just sees low-wage jobs going to China.

    Australians are far more productive than New Zealanders are. It’s that simple.

  10. Robinsod 10

    Ok – I guess I’ll have to humour you a little. The best way to get wages rises above CPI is collective bargaining. The rules around collective bargaining are set by the government. Unsurprisingly when those rules are designed by representatives of corporate interests (as they were in the 1990s) wages stagnate or fall. Our pay rates used to be roughly even with the Aussies until our work rights were decimated under National, now we’re 30% behind them. Go figure.

    The wage-inflation argument is patently not true, we’ve seen the minimum wage steadily increase over the last few terms and there has been no inflationary impact. On the other hand tax cuts would be very likely to increase inflation because that’s about new money being pumped into the economy not the redistribution of profit as higher wages.

    We are a productive nation – productivity *growth* is low because we are already running a tight ship and this can be seen in the huge profits being made by companies in New Zealand and, more often than not, these profits are going into the pockets of overseas shareholders.

    Oh and djp? I usually reserve this for claws but seeing as you’re attempting to set up a straw-man argument I’ll make an exception just this once: Fuck off.

  11. Policy Parrot 11

    “Australians are far more productive than New Zealanders are. It’s that simple.”

    IP – care to elaborate on that hyperbole?

  12. Santa Claws 12

    Hey Robespierre, if the evil overseas shareholders are siphoning off vast profits, and the great saviour Labour government is forcing them to instead redistribute it to the wage-slaves, then how is that different to a tax cut in terms of inflation?

    Also, how can you claim that there has been no inflationary impact? Aren’t our interest rates so high to combat persistent high inflation?

    I know it is difficult but do try not to play both sides of the argument dear boy.

  13. Daveo 13

    Santy, our inflation is largely driven by housing and the price of oil. Dairy prices also have a hell of a lot to do with it. I can’t say so-called ‘wage inflation’ has anything much to do with it.

  14. Robinsod 14

    Santa the interest rates are high for a lot of reasons but primarily because of the housing boom (you may have noticed the occasional story in the paper about it). Putting the minimum wage up to $11.25 hasn’t created inflation and I hardly think a rise to $15 is going to create a huge new class of investment property buyers. In terms of higher wages for non-minimum wage workers? Well you may not realise this but everyone’s wages don’t go up at the same time or the same rate ‘cos like there’s no award system so unlike tax cuts they don’t create inflationary surges. And Santa? Fuck off.

  15. Santa Claws 15

    “Six of the 11 CPI groups recorded increases in the September 2007 quarter. The most significant upward contributions came from the housing and household utilities (up 1.8 percent) and food (up 1.2 percent) groups. Other upward movements came from the following groups: alcoholic beverages and tobacco (up 1.7 percent), transport (up 0.4 percent), miscellaneous goods and services (up 0.8 percent) and recreation and culture (up 0.3 percent).”

    Yup, mostly housing inflation caused by evil capitalist slum-lords.

    Keep trying Robespierre!

  16. djp 16

    “The wage-inflation argument is patently not true, we’ve seen the minimum wage steadily increase over the last few terms and there has been no inflationary impact. On the other hand tax cuts would be very likely to increase inflation because that’s about new money being pumped into the economy not the redistribution of profit as higher wages.”

    And how do you know the minimum wage increases have not contributed to inflation?

    Think about it: “Minimum wage goes up”->”Employers costs go up”->”Employer raises consumer prices”->”Inflation”

    Tax cuts are not “new money being pumped into the economy”. It is simply workers spending (or saving) more of their own money and the Govt spending less.

    “Oh and djp? I usually reserve this for claws but seeing as you’re attempting to set up a straw-man argument I’ll make an exception just this once: Fuck off.”

    Hey if that is the way you want to play good for you.

  17. Robinsod 17

    Um, Santa: “the most significant upward contributions came from the housing and household utilities…” seeing as you’ve done my legwork for me like a good wee boy I feel a bit bad saying this but Santa, fuck off.

  18. Sam Dixon 18

    Santa you’ve only looked at the latest quarter, at the peak of a 5 year housing boom.

  19. Robinsod 19

    djp – “Think about it: “Minimum wage goes up”->”Employers costs go up”->”Employer raises consumer prices”->”Inflation””

    another story might be: minimum wage goes up, employer’s (note the possessive apostrophe) profit goes down. Employers spend less, minimum wage workers spend more. Hey what’d’ya know? Economy in equilibrium.

    And tax cuts *are* new money being pumped into the economy from an inflationary point of view. I’d suggest if you don’t understand that you should probably
    click this link
    (you could save US$7.04!)

  20. Hmmm, actually one of the reasons why increasing the minimum wage might boost productivity without impacting on inflation is that it might shift investment from low-value, low-wage domestic service production to high-wage, high-value export production.

    There’s a good body of work, mainly UK, that examines the incentives for low wage industries and concludes that while it is profitable for the employer it is comparatively low productivity employment/enterprise – sadly for NZ lots is in service/tourism – compared with the relatively highly productive employment in manufacturing.

    In a tight labour market, one likely impact of increasing the minimum wage is that it’ll force enterprises to either release labour (to other more productive industries) or adapt by moving into more productive markets.

  21. djp 21

    Robin – ”
    another story might be: minimum wage goes up, employer’s (note the possessive apostrophe) profit goes down. Employers spend less, minimum wage workers spend more. Hey what’d’ya know? Economy in equilibrium.”

    Well maybe in your world but in reality employers have a duty to their shareholders.

    You hear it all the time in the news “costs up->prices up”. Wages are just another cost.

    Robin – “And tax cuts *are* new money being pumped into the economy from an inflationary point of view. I’d suggest if you don’t understand that you should probably
    click this link (you could save US$7.04!)”

    Thats funny I am sure I heard Bollard talking about govt inflationary spending the other day…

  22. Santa Claws 22

    Wow robespierre, I thought that your reading comprehension was better than that. There are other words in the paragraph I quoted you know.

    Sambo – so what? Next you’ll be claiming that the housing price bubble is not a result of Labour’s failed policies.

    I’m still waiting for an actual answer from Tane to this question instead of mis-direction, and the obligatory (and laughable) fuck off from Robespierre

    “So Tiny, can you explain how shafting the economy by raising the minimum wage, and therefore tipping more billions into Cullen’s bribe-pot, is better for workers than returning some of their hard-earned dollars that he already takes?”

  23. Tane 23

    Santa, I can’t see how raising the min wage will shaft the economy, so we kind of disagree on the basic premise. I’ve already discussed National’s tax cuts at great length over here:

    National: it’s not worth the pay cut

  24. Robinsod 24

    Santa – you quoted one quarter at the end of a five year boom and even that was heavily loaded toward housing. And the housing boom is a reflection of an international trend that seems to be coming to an end in the US (“sub-prime” anyone?) and has quite a bit to do with a ready supply of fluid international capital looking for an investment home and settling on mortgage debt.

    You seem to have Tony Ryall’s economic illiteracy as well as all his other charms – are you sure you’re not him? I guess you should also avail yourself of that seven dollar discount I recommended to djp ‘cos you really really fit the target market. Oh yeah, (and I really hope you are Ryall ‘cos I’ve wanted to say this to him ever since I first met him) fuck off.

  25. Sam Dixon 25

    Santa – the housing bubble is a global phenomona arising from the credit flood.

    djp – there’s no evidence that minimum wage rises have a negativ impact on the economy – and certianly a higher price for labour encourages capital investmnet which raises productivity… when wages are allwoed to sink too low employers’ just hire jokers rather than making cpaital investment – result underemployment and low productivity.

  26. Tony Ryall 26

    Robinsod you bastard – he’s not Tony Ryall, I am.

    Sam – credit flood? Don’t you know the housing boom is the result of the Liarbour government’s refusal to sell native forests to apartment development corporations? I mean for god’s sake we need to get rid of this RMA thing straight away.

    Santa – I like you, you remind me of a younger me, are you single?

  27. Santa Claws 27

    Robespierre, Sambo – oh right, so inflation is nothing to do with Labour party policies at all then? Good to get that cleared up.

    Tony – good to see you posting here. I already have plenty of elves to attend to my needs.

  28. Santa Claws 28

    Oh robespierre, posting as Tony Ryall. How droll my little one. I bet those antics would get you banned over at KB but the standards at the stupid are so much lower I suppose.

  29. Pascal's bookie 29

    Isn’t the fact the the govt is running a big fat surplus relevant? The Nats claim that this is just overtaxation, implying that they will cut taxes in order to git rid of the surplus. By definition they will therefore be pumping money into the economy that would otherwise (without the tax cuts) be sitting in the govt coffers.

    It reminds me of President Fuckup in the states, he inherited a country that was giong great guns, and a govt with big a big fat surplus.

    First he claimed he had to cut taxes because the govt was overtaxing the poor billionaires, then when the surplus collapsed due to an economic slowdown he had to cut taxes to stimulate growth. Now their dollar is falling faster than a preachers pants at a boy scout meeting, the govt books have never been so bad, the nations infrastructure and military are straining to breaking point and you can’t through a bucket of piss out of the window without hitting an indicted Republican in the face.

    The answer is no doubt lower taxes and war with Iran.

    Ladies and gentlemen, your modern right.

  30. Leftie 30

    Insolent Prick and djp:

    All employers reward their workers fairly for their contribution to any productivity increase don’t they?

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