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Labour’s jobs policy

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, November 16th, 2011 - 34 comments
Categories: employment, jobs, labour - Tags: ,

Phil Goff on RNZ this morning said that the teapot tape saga had descended in to farce, and that it was time to focus on the policy questions which should be defining the election.  As good as his word, today Labour released its jobs policy:

Labour’s six-point plan for jobs

Labour Leader Phil Goff today announced Labour’s plan to get Kiwis into jobs. … “Under National, unemployment has remained far too high for far too long. Two years after the global financial crisis there are still 157,000 Kiwis out of work.

“That’s because National has not made jobs a priority. It has stood on the side lines and let events take their course.

“This inaction is soul destroying for those involved, and cost New Zealand $1 billion in unemployment benefits in 2010/11 alone.

“It’s not good enough. A great deal more can be done and should be done to get the economy moving again and people into work. Labour will do a lot more than host a ‘talkfest jobs summit’, and over promise on gimmicks like the cycleway, which created only 500 jobs – not all of them full time.

“Labour’s six-point plan for jobs:

* A savings scheme that will provide new investment for New Zealand businesses;
* Support innovation to develop new products to sell to the rest of the world;
* Change monetary policy to support exporters against a volatile New Zealand dollar;
* Help unemployed youth into training and apprenticeships;
* Stimulate the economy by putting money into the pockets of those who need it;
* Making Kiwi jobs a consideration when issuing government contracts.

“The only way to create jobs is to get the economy going again. My plan does this. National’s plan to sell assets won’t create a single job,” Phil Goff said.

Unemployment is up 50% under National. The last two budgets in a row they’ve promised 170,000 new jobs and they haven’t delivered. Now that we’re all over Nice Mr Key, maybe we can focus on minor details like the environment, the economy, assets, and jobs…

34 comments on “Labour’s jobs policy ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    And they’re also releasing a “not negative” negative ad about Key:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/campaign-trail/5976262/Labour-ads-target-John-Key

  2. queenstfarmer 2

    That is a 2 point plan. The first 4 will not create jobs. The last 2 may, although Phil had better be careful that #6 does not trample on the China FTA that Phil commendably signed for NZ, and which would have consequences for NZ.

    • Ianupnorth 2.1

      I’d say 2 and 4 most likely will; there are a wide range of infrastructure things that will emerge in future years (e.g drainage, water supply, electrical supply) – time to get the youth ready for dealing with these.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      The first 4 will not create jobs.

      A savings scheme that will provide new investment for New Zealand businesses;

      Creates an investment fund that, in theory, creates new opportunities for work and thus jobs.

      Support innovation to develop new products to sell to the rest of the world;

      Related to the first in that it will use that investment fund.

      Change monetary policy to support exporters against a volatile New Zealand dollar;

      If what they do does what they’re hoping (at a guess I’d say that they’re looking to keep the NZ$ value down) then it could produce more jobs.

      Help unemployed youth into training and apprenticeships;

      Well, I suppose the jobs need to be there in the first place and being well trained doesn’t necessarily ensure that jobs exist.

      although Phil had better be careful that #6 does not trample on the China FTA

      China has a similar policy so it obviously doesn’t. So does Australia, the US, The UK…

      • Herodotus 2.2.1

        DTB – question your premise regard savings how do we know the Kiwisaver funds will not invest offshore? Also with NZ share market stagnet in total capitalisation around $40b similar as it has been fo 20+ years.With more money available there is a strong possability that prices will be driven up and this resulting in a reduced ROI or dividend yield.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          That’s why I said “in theory”.

          • Herodotus 2.2.1.1.1

            Appologies- missing a few things lately.
            Still does not both Lab and Nat have to find jobs for 170k to then allow their achieving a surplus? Not too sure how either can do this in 3 years, then add in net immigration, and the increasing of the working age into the equation.
            Still would love to read about any parties immigration policies. As Auckland population is to grow to 2million by 2031. Just love to see and local and central govt plan in advance find space for housing, jobs, finance and the infrastructure that will be associated in maintaining Aucklands functionality, it is stressed enough currently.
            http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/people_and_communities/geographic-areas/mapping-trends-in-the-auckland-region/population-change.aspx

            • KJT 2.2.1.1.1.1

              A surplus in a recession is not necessarily a good idea.

              Neither is borrowing for election bribes to the wealthy to spend on Hawaii holidays.

              That is why you pay down debt in a boom. Like Cullen.

              To allow room for counter recessionary spending.
              Like the Labour Government that got us out of recession before most others in the 30’s.

  3. randal 3

    qsf. stop the poormouthing and get in behind.
    are you going to vote for a positive government or become a pantywaisted whinger like kweewee.

  4. In Vino Veritas 4

    “Under National, unemployment has remained far too high for far too long. Two years after the global financial crisis there are still 157,000 Kiwis out of work.”

    Now lets take that as a percentage shall we? That’d be, oh, say 6.6%. Now lets have a look at the average unemployment since say, the early 1990’s. Hmm, that’d be 6.5%. W’eve had a global financial crisis, a recession, an earthquake, and now the crisis in Europe, and our unemployment is running at it’s 20 year average. Not bad given the prevailing economic conditions over the last three years. I’d also point out that the treasury economic and fiscal forecast of 2008 had unemployment at 6.2%, with a downside scenario of 7.1% for 2011. A forecast the Mr Goff would be conversant in (unless of course he forgot he was briefed).

    Again, Mr Goff is not embellishing a good story with the truth.

    • Uturn 4.1

      Population in NZ 1990: 3,410,400

      Population in NZ 2011: 4,428,858

      Let’s use the same percentage unemployed, say, 6.5%. In 1990 there would be a hypothetical 221,676 unemployed.

      In 2011, under 6.5%, there would be 287,875.

      A difference of 66,199 people.

      But how could that be? We used the same percentage of unemployed for both figures?

      Statistics, poorly used, makes 66,000 people disappear. No need to panic. Nothing has changed. Government is doing fine. Everyone go back to sleep. Or school if you prefer.

      • In Vino Veritas 4.1.1

        You’re being mischeivous Uturn, and I’m sure you can figure out where your illogical argument has flaws, since I could just by looking at your numbers. Heaven help us if all left wingers have the same skills in analysis as you. Oh, and I’m sure Treasury have a reasonable grasp of the precentages since they are the entity that provided the percentages I have given.

        • Ianupnorth 4.1.1.1

          You seem to forget that the number of people in actual full time work has shrunken considerably; how convenient!

          • In Vino Veritas 4.1.1.1.1

            As it is convenient for Mr Goff to pedal numbers, rather than comparable percentages. Whilst I havent yet managed to dig out number son the full time workforce, here are some numbers re Labour force:

            Sept 11 quarter total 2,375,000, unemployed 157,000 percentage 6.6%
            Sept 08 quarter total 2,266,000, unemployed 94,000, percentage 4.2%

            By June 09, the unemployment numbers had gone to 138,000 or 6.0%. Now, it’d be a long bow to draw to claim that National, in 7 months, had caused a 46% increase in unemployment.

            Mr Goff is claiming a 50% increase in unemployment. Well, as you can see, 46% of it came off the back of his parties policies, financial management and leadership.

            • Puddleglum 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I don’t think it’s so much about how high it went but how persistently it has remained there.

              National have made no attempt to reduce unemployment via active policies. There appears to be a ‘wait for the market/economy to recover’ policy. Batten down, throw the injured overboard to stay afloat and … keep waiting.

              The question is how long are National prepared to wait without actively stepping in to implement job growth?

              Does this global slump have to last two more years, five more, ten more before National will start to think it needs to do something, perhaps … 

              • Draco T Bastard

                National have made no attempt to reduce unemployment via active policies.

                National believe that the natural rate of unemployment is around 6%. With it sitting at 6.6% means that they won’t do a damn thing about it because, as far as they’re concerned, it’s where it should be. As doing nothing is unacceptable to the voters NAct will whinge about the unemployed and put in place policies that punish them to make it look like they’re doing something.

              • In Vino Veritas

                Puddle, as I pointed out in my earlier post, the 20 year average for unemployment in NZ is 6.5%. Labour managed to get it down over 9 years soley because they endured the best economic conditions in a generation, plus they spent profligately in the public service. Ergo, nothing in the bank (without checking, I think it was 750 million, with a great chunk of it already committed) for the incoming government.

                We are now enduring economic conditions that havent been seen for 20 years and you have an expectation that unemployment will fall to levels only seen in the best economic conditions?

            • Galeandra 4.1.1.1.1.2

              to pedal numbers…like on a cycleway ‘of national significance’?

    • bbfloyd 4.2

      i always find it amusing, (and slightly disappointing) to once more be regaled with yet another “intelligent” tory assuming a labour government would react exactly the same as a national one….

      it requires the will to forget reality as reported at the appropriate times….some would label that childish intransigence….. i just think it’s pandering to emotional imbalances…..

      does anybody remember helen clarke stating for the public record the governments intention to bring out a mini budget “just after christmas” during the election campaign, and probably before? yes… an actual positive move to deal with the impact of the global meltdown…. one that you can guarantee wouldn’t have included throwing money away for high priced housing/holiday homes, and subsidising share portfolios…..

      instead… we got a “government” that did “sweet fuck all” to cushion the impact on money circulation that maintaining the employment base would have…..exactly the opposite in fact….

      we got the ground pulled out from under research and development… the very things that have produced the advances that allowed new zealand to punch well above it’s weight economically, and socially….

      we are facing a situation where universal education is, once more, going to be a thing we can “aspire” to, since this government seems, (possibly more than any other national government)
      hell bent on the final dismantling of the legacy of the savage labour government….

      how many differences can there be in approach before it becomes obvious that a dry set of figures based on an unchanging approach, regardless of the consequences, are no more than a snapshot made utterly irrelevant by the passage of time…..assuming that the treasury assessment is accurate to start with….. highly unlikely considering the amount of political activism rife within treasury, and their well known sympathies…..

      i could list the differences between the treasury assumptions and the actions the labour government would have taken, and the obvious widening of the realities predicted, and realised, but this will do to start with…..

      • In Vino Veritas 4.2.1

        bb, I’m sure if you’d had the information, you would list it, rather than just say a whole pile of stuff that has nothing to back it up. The numbers from the statistics Department speak for themselves I would also point out that Treasury’s release in late 08 estimated unemployment in 2011 would go to 6.2% (worst case 7.1%), and they had no view on who would be in government.

    • KJT 4.3

      257 000 if 100 000 had not emigrated.

  5. Craig Glen Eden 5

    Of coarse if we go back to 1999 election English didnt believe unemployment should be below 7% he was fine with it.

  6. insider 6

    Why would an investment fund provide more jobs than now? I’d like to see a bit more justification as to why this would work, especially if the fund could earn more offshore. Are they going to force people to invest in it like through Kiwisaver or will it be tax driven? Seems like a slogan than a policy

    I’ve never understood why people welcome a low exchange rate – as an importing country, that has a downside and pushes up the cost of living. Why wouldn’t you aim for an economy that produces premium products and experiences that people are willing to pay for and which are less vulnerable to a high exchange rate? Is cheap and cheerful Labour’s aim for the economy?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      I’ve never understood why people welcome a low exchange rate…

      It’s good for exporters (their products become “cheaper” on the world market boosting sales) and so will boost employment as well as address trade imbalances caused by a high exchange rate.

      Why wouldn’t you aim for an economy that produces premium products and experiences that people are willing to pay for and which are less vulnerable to a high exchange rate?

      That’s what the “Support innovation” is for.

      Of course, the whole things bollocks anyway as we only have limited resources and the plans (for all parties) is to push growth beyond the limits set by those resources. In fact, in some areas it’s possible we’ve already passed those limits. Farming and the resultant dirty rivers and lakes comes to mind.

    • KJT 6.2

      Well, we could be producing premium products, but National wants us all to work in McD’s and as farmhands for minimum wage.

      35 years of artificially high exchange rates, due to the dopy reserve bank act, http://howdaft.blogspot.com/2011/06/vampire-economics-reserve-bank-act.html and a religious believe that Government should not help any industry, except farming, has removed our innovative manufacturing sector.

      Constant lower exchange rates encourage and support local production as well as helping exporters.

  7. BLiP 7

    Ho- hum.

  8. Afewknowthetruth 8

    It really is all getting too silly for words:

    ‘maybe we can focus on minor details like the environment, the economy, assets, and jobs’

    Focusing on the environment suggests actually doing something to protect it. However, in practice, stimulating the economy directly equates to wreckng the environment faster than it already being wrecked -whether that is by covering farmland with concrete and asphalt to accommodate more people or simply by burning fossil fuels to keep shifting people and stuff around.

    Needless to say, we ‘have to’ mine, frack and drill to keep the Ponzi scheme going a bit longer.

    (Yes, I know New Zealander’s favourite pastimes involve moving people and stuff around using internal combustion engines and we cannot upset them by taking their ‘toys’ away.)

    In other words its all about pandering to the short term interests of global corporations and money-lenders, together with keeping ‘the proles’ distracted and amused while it all turns to custard, whichever party forms the next government.

    I see that Italy is having a spot of bother paying 6 or 7% interest on government bonds when its economy is imploding due to peak oil and so-called austerity. Payment of 6 or 7% interest can only be achived via 6 or 7% devaluation (annually) of the common fiat currency against real stuff like oil, gold, food, water etc.

    These are such interesting time and such and such bizarre times.

  9. Judging by labour mp’s tonight on twitter and facebook, they dont give a fuck about policies, its all about the tapes.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      Yeah, that would be why Labour have been releasing policy when National has been releasing bullet points.

      I’ll give you a hint Brett, politicians twitter and face-book threads aren’t official release channels.

    • lprent 9.2

      Social media does tend to emphasize the personal rather than the policy. It is why it is called social media.

      The Labour advertising campaign and almost all of the press releases have pretty much been about policy or reactions to policy. The nearest thing I have seen to non-policy in Labours public face has been the adverts that look at Nationals piss-poor record. Reminds me, there is one that I want to put up again.

      Don’t know who did the Labour campaign. But I am liking it.

  10. mike 10

    Good points I feel. Except #5 seems a wee bit vague…

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