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Less firing, more hiring

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 am, May 22nd, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: broadcasting, budget 2009, national - Tags: , , ,

The Herald reports today that TVNZ fired 90 employees following a letter from Broadcasting Minister Johnathan Coleman demanding that it raise its profitability.

This follows similar cuts at the Ministry of Social development, Ministry for the Environment, Tertiary Education Commission. There look likely to be hundreds or thousands of job losses as a result of the Government’s Supercity plans, and 250 or so redundancies at the IRD. There are scores of jobs gone at the Ministry of Justice, Fisheries, Department of Labour, Transport Agency, Qualifications Authority, State Services Commission and NZ Post. These are just the ones I could find with a quick search.

In the private sector there have been thousands more through the building industry (like Carter Holt), manufacturing (LWR and Cavalier), Banking (ANZ, BNZ, National), and real estate sectors. The Herald recently reported that a fifth of our large used car dealerships have closed in the past six months – perhaps 10,000 job losses.

What about the government’s response?

The nine day fortnight has saved perhaps a couple of hundred jobs. A welcome relief no doubt to those workers affected, but really only a drop in the bucket. We have yet to see anything much (at all?) materialise around the Jobs Summit’s on-again off-again cycleway. To top it off we’ve seen tax cuts that clearly favour the highest income earners rather than those at the bottom or in the middle.

Around the world, a host of other countries (USA, Britain, Australia) have launched genuine economic stimulation packages. By comparison our response to date looks positively impotent.

The upcoming budget is this government’s chance to take real action – to invest in stimulating the economy and to show a genuine commitment to protecting workers and their jobs. We’ve seen enough firing. It’s time for some hiring.

8 comments on “Less firing, more hiring ”

  1. Jum 1

    What did you expect all_your_base? This is little America now under their stooge John Key. Knowing Bush’s time and philosophy were about to be banished the right wing zealots have, thanks to the lackadaisical voting black lagoon of NZers, who thought they’d give the other side a turn, ‘just to be fair’, moved in here.

    Expect more of the same.

    Still, keep up the enthusiasm. I’m glad someone is. Give it a go bro and all that, guvnor.

  2. bilbo 2

    According to the post below our stimulus package is broadly similar to other countries.


    • Exactly what I was about to say. Also, unlike a lot of other countries, our monetary policy still has plenty of wiggle-room, meaning in any case we probably need less (if any) fiscal stimulus.

  3. edoze 3

    This is a very good post. If only this balanced view could be applied across all the posts on this site.

    I think it is important to keep in mind the credit downgrade risk. Whether or not its going to happen in the long run, i think it is wise to be proactive in the short term, in order to save us $600 million if the govt failed to act.

    The private sector issues are unstoppable, they are a result of a global slowdown and nothing can reverse that. In saying that, yes there has been a failure by managers of respective companies (LWR), but its not all a governance failure. Much of these companies are asset and not cash rich, hence the short term contraction of the workforce.


  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Around the world, a host of other countries (USA, Britain, Australia) have launched genuine economic stimulation packages.

    Actually, I don’t think they were genuine stimulation packages – I think they were more keep the rich rich packages. If they were genuine then the people responsible for the collapse wouldn’t have been rewarded for causing it.

  5. all_your_base 5


    Check out the data at http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/4/31/42424234.pdf – it’s a little out of date now but draws the distinction between tax cuts and spending as components of the countries’ packages. Ours is predominantly tax cuts – and as I’ve said above, probably targeted at the wrong place to be “stimulatory”.

    • bilbo 5.1

      Thanks for that – interesting reading.

      It will be interesting to see how the individual countries have done in 5 years time.

  6. Swampy 6

    Labour’s spent a huge amount of money creating unnecessary public sector bloat and now all those people aren’t needed any more.

    Why anyone would work for the government I don’t know, and why people still argue for (re)nationalisation. I watched the rail privatisation and renationalisation debate and there were all the same arguments, it just seems that the unions and everyone else who want government to (re)nationalise are not prepared to acknowledge that the government as an owner is much more subject to political whims than most private sector employers, and that people losing their jobs when a government changes is part of a fair democratic political process, and that’s the risk you get working for a political outfit.

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