Lovin’ it?

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, July 2nd, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: economy - Tags:

brighter-futureStuff reports that McDonald’s is getting up to $16,000 of taxpayer money per person it recruits from the benefit.

I doubt this per-person maximum is reached that often but it does seem that a lot of public money is going to the extremely profitable fast-food giant (and, presumably, its franchisees) every year.

I’m all for getting people into jobs but, even putting aside the godawful employer behaviour McDonald’s is infamous for, when the government is cutting access to the kind of training and education that would provide us with a skilled and productive workforce, forking out big dollars to subsidise burger-flipping jobs seems like serious economic mismanagement to me.

If this is what John Key means when he bleats on about being “ambitious for New Zealand” I’m not lovin’ it at all.

35 comments on “Lovin’ it?”

  1. toad 1

    And Paula Bennett’s spin about this being some great job creation initiative of the National Government is exposed as lies.

    But it does raise the question of whether huge corporates like McDonalds who can well afford to pay for their own recruitment and training should be able to access Work and Income subsidies.

  2. tsmithfield 2

    I not so sure I’m that fussed about subsidising McDonalds jobs either.

    That being said, it is the sort of job that anyone can do. Thus, people who have been longterm unemployed, or students leaving school and not being able to find work etc, can at least get something that pays better than the dole.

    While the work is very mechanical, it does at least give people the opportunity to get into the world of work, and to develop good habits such as reliable time keeping etc. I doubt that many people will stay in the job for that long. Rather I think this will be a step up to something better for many people.

    • Noko 2.1

      Are you insane?

      The 16-thousand dollars a year versus providing that as a student allowance and getting them into education. This is a thoughtless policy which just lines the pockets of a multi-national conglomerate, and doesn’t do anything for the future of New Zealand.

  3. $16,000 is about 8 month’s wages for someone working full-time at McDonald’s. It’s a HUGE amount to be spent on subsidies per worker.

  4. Richard 4

    This is really a bit of a shocker. Just last week Anne Tolley admitted that up to 7000 students may be turned away from Polytechnics due to funding cuts. Is it really being “ambitious for New Zealand” to deny young people quality education in return for a state subsidised job at Macca’s?
    And while you’ve got me going, National have abandoned healthy food rules for school canteens, abolished funding for the Obesity Action Coalition, and set itself up as a free recruitment agency for McDonalds. I half expected to hear that McDonalds was somehow paying for all of this. But for taxpayers to be potentially forking out up to $16000 an employee??? I know who is “lovin’ it”.

  5. infused 5

    They give this cash to any company. If I want to employee someone they will pay up to $150 a week of their wage.

    This was like 4 years ago. It’s probably more now. ANY company can do this.

    Don’t blame MC’ds for that behavior either. Just stupid managers. The worker was stupid too for complying. Same shit happened in the states where staff were pretty much strip searched naked. You’d have to be a fool to comply.

    • IrishBill 5.1

      Or sixteen years old with no idea of how the world worked. Good “blame the victim” stuff there infused.

      • infused 5.1.1

        Seriously. Who the hell would strip for them? I’m not defending them here, I’m just saying.

        Please ignore my other points though, they are of no interest.

    • Byron 5.2

      I think WINZ stopped that scheme as many employers abused it, using the discount labour and then dismissing the working when they had to start paying full wages.

      I think its perfectly fair to blame McD’s for the strip searches and the like, McDonalds aggressively resists unionisation, if the stores were unionised, with delegates who had attending employment relations training the staff would be aware of their rights.

  6. toad 6

    To be fair, Richard, there is nothing new about this. McD’s had the same access to this subsidy under the last Government.

    But like you, I question whether they should have.

    • Richard 6.1

      Fair point, but I question whether the spirit and intention of such subsidies is being met by subsidising a minimum wage paying, ultra profitable foreign multinational. Would have thought such subsidies might be more targeted at helping kiwi firms take the next step.
      Or better still, spend it on education!

  7. roger nome 7

    lol – you gotta love that sociopathic Tory tendancy to beat up on the weak – how the fuck do you know what its like to be in the shoes of a sixteen year old girl who’s the lower ranked in an extremely asymetiric power relationship? Dick head.

    • infused 7.1

      Because I worked in BK from 16 upwards to become a manager there. I know exactly what it’s like.

      • roger nome 7.1.1

        Sorry Infused – i didn’t realised that you had worked as a 16 year old girl at that notortiously abusive dunedin branch of McDonalds. My bad. Actually, no you didn’t – bloody sociopathic half-wit.

  8. Ianmac 8

    From 17 my son worked at McDonalds for 4 years. He did learn many skills and became sought after for later jobs when working his way through University. He found that the moment he said he had worked for McDonalds for a few years the response was,”Good. Time keeping . Reliability. Carrying out tasks. Accepting responsibility. Good training.” He has just completed his Honours degree and though he has no wish to return to McDonalds, he appreciates the start they gave him.
    So the politics aside and nutritcian aside, good on McDonalds.

  9. Ianmac, I worked at McDs for 6 years while studying for my two degrees. It was a pretty good job for a student, having such flexible hours and all.

    I eventually became a shift manager, which provided me with very useful people management skills. It was a damn challenging job at times.

  10. Simon 10

    “It was a damn challenging job at times.”

    yep them burgers are haute cuisine shit!


    • jarbury 10.1

      Making one burger is obviously fairly straighforwards. Making hundreds of the damn things when two staff have called in sick, you’ve got new front counter staff who don’t know what they’re doing and the dining room’s a mess – that’s a challenge to manage.

      Clearly your arrogant attitude would have no idea though.

      • Simon 10.1.1

        I laugh and ridicule you because you think working at MacDonalds is harder, more complex and challenging than any other job at any other business.


        • jarbury

          Where did I say that? I said it could be very challenging, not that it is the most challenging job anywhere.

  11. lukas 11

    This is a bit of a beat up. Listen to the podcast or question time or read Hansard, the money follows the employee no matter who the employer is.

    • toad 11.1

      But the question, lukas, is should it?

      And it was Bennett who started the beat up by claiming it was a “deal” with McD’s that was going to get 7000 people into employment, when actually it was business as usual.

      • lukas 11.1.1

        Why should McDonalds be treated any differently?

        • IrishBill

          Because they are a profitable multinational company. But the real question is why should we be paying to subsidise mMcD’s jobs while also shutting the door on higher training due to cost?

          • Bill

            Because beneficiaries are scum and it is far better that they participate in activities that are injurious to the health of citizens than quietly go about their business or educate themselves or….well, see comment below.

  12. Bill 12

    If the government gave me $16 000 while I was on the dole, I guarantee that my activities would be of infinitely more social worth and far more conducive to learning/upskilling than if I was working at a fast food outlet.

    Actually, lets not argue over a few dollars and assume that the dole equals the subsidy. The net result is lost opportunities for learning and making constructive contributions to society.

    Society loses. The individual loses. And McD’s rakes it in. Way to go!

  13. toad 13

    lukas, I’m not singling out McD’s – just that they are the example Paula Bennett gave. Employment subsidies should be targeted to creating jobs that otherwise wouldn’t exist, not to “business as usual’. Bennett told Parliament there are 78 employers or industries in this sort of partnership with Work and Income. I wonder how many others are also big corporates who can well afford to fund their own staff recruitment and training without government subsidies.

  14. burt 14

    Jim Anderton and his jobs machine paved the way for this. Jim showed us how to spend tax payers money with multi nationals so they can continue to do what they were going to do anyway. Pity National wants to follow in the footsteps of a sad socialist who’s only contribution to society is to ban things that he couldn’t keep his own children away from.

    • So Bored 14.1

      If you are referencing what I think you might be Burt that is a very low blow, even for you.

  15. roger nome 15

    Good point Toad. I also wonder if Nact shouldn’t be targeting the value-added export industry? That way we could sure up our balance of payments deficit, whilst incouraging jobs with higher labour productivity, thus driving higher living standards in NZ. But that would all make too much sense i suppose/involves thinking past one term, oh well….

  16. daredtodream 16

    Hmm the Standard really is turning into an echo chamber like Kiwiblog…

    but anyway I see you have all focused on the sensationalist headline that the media wanted you to…

    The phrase “up to 16,000” is very important particularly since in the article quoted 8 of 12 new employees at McDs in dannevirke who had been on a benefit accrued a subsidy of 36,000 ie, 4500 each on average. The timeframe of the accural is important but not given. However, if we assume it’s for six months that on average would still fall well short of 16000 ea.

  17. So Bored 17

    One wonders if Mustaphas Kebab shop round the corner from Makkers qualifies or manages to get this subsidy?

    • marco 17.1

      Yes they do, its called a Skills Investment Subsidy, was Labour policy and is open to all employers.
      The key is they need to employ someone who is ‘disadvantaged in the local labour market’. For MacDonalds not to be eligible for it then the Nats would have to scrap a policy which helps many new migrants and people with disabilities into work each year.

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