web analytics

National bleats about wages, still has no solutions

Written By: - Date published: 1:35 pm, September 5th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: national, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

earnings 450 gap 450

The National Party are once again trying to make political capital over the Trans-Tasman wage gap, even though they created it in the first place and have no policy to fix it. Like I’ve pointed out a dozen times before:

1. Yes, we have a wage gap with Australia and it needs to close.

2. The wage gap we have now opened up by 50% under the last National government due to their neoliberal employment relations policies. When you take rights off workers their wages fall, and under National most Kiwis’ incomes did fall.

3. Under Labour’s Employment Relations Act the harsher edges of those policies have been removed and wages have started to rise again. The gap with Australia has remained static. More needs to be done, but those are the facts.

4. National has no policy to lift wages. The only policy it does have on wages is to take rights off workers, which as we saw in the 1990s will only see downward pressure on wages and a further widening of the wage gap with Australia.

5. Cutting taxes will not lift wages, it will only reduce the tax people pay on them. In any case, to close the gap with Australia, National would have to abolish income tax. And that’s not going to happen, even in their wildest dreams.

In short, yet another hollow, discredited attack from a party that has no credibility on wages.

18 comments on “National bleats about wages, still has no solutions ”

  1. Mike Collins 1

    Tane bleats about National but thinks Labour/Greens have solutions.

    Seriously guys do you ever get bored of your whining about National?

    IrishBill says: Do you ever get bored of trolling and commenting off-topic? Or is it just that you can’t defend the indefensible record National has on wages? If you don’t have an argument to make don’t bother commenting.

  2. deemac 2

    why are these non-comments even posted? just a waste of space

  3. Matthew Pilott 3

    Tane I think Mike is right – National clearly have all the answers, and Labour and the Greens are just plain wrong. When a point is argued so well, even though I usually agree with you, Tane, I’ve got to be honest here and tell you: Mike has got it in one.

    Mike Collins – why would you bother writing that? Looks like a little white flag to me.

  4. Felix 4

    Waste of space? Waste of electricity.

  5. Dom 5

    We are not Australia. It’s that simple. We are a smaller country, smaller job market, smaller economy and no surprises, that might translate to smaller wages. And yeah, National made sure there’d be an even bigger wage difference with the Employment Contracts Act.

    Anyone looked at food prices in Australian cities recently? And the cost of travel (petrol + big city + tolls). And housing. Friends just moved back because they couldn’t afford to live over there any more…despite the higher wages they were earning they will be better off over here.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    National’s policy on wages is simply to tell people what they want to hear. Never say no (publicly). For example, note this extract from today’s report of John Key talking to a Grey Power meeing in Nelson.

    His charisma charmed those at the meeting who spoke to the Nelson Mail.

    Pat Heaphy said John Key was “really positive and overall has a pretty good grip on where the country’s at and has good vision to where he wants to lead it”.

    Mr Heaphy, who runs Heaphy’s Home Support, said he wanted an urgent emphasis in the election campaign on increasing the wages of home support workers.

    Mr Key, asked what he would do about this, replied that Mr Heaphy “will see more money going into that area” if his party was elected to government.

    So, higher wages for the low paid? Sounds good. Where is the money coming from? When was this policy announced? What are the costs? Where can we find out more?

    Or is it just “you want it, I promise it”?

    (Hey, I almost hope National get in. Once people realize they’ve been conned, the ensuing anger will see them thrown out of power for a generation).

  7. Dom,

    I so agree with you. In Europe my husband and I ran a business and we were working 24/7 just to keep up with the cost of everything while we were both earning more than even in Aussie. After the introduction of the Euro it was even worse. Here we can live on one income and having a veggie garden. Hell, we can even save for the first time.

    I really have never been in a country that had it so good (generally speaking) and were so many people are complaining. Kiwi’s just don’t know how lucky they are.

    Funny thing though even though Maori’s in general earn less than Pakeha they are the ones agreeing with me the most. So it does not seem related to the actual level of wealth but more of jealousy.

  8. outofbed 8

    I know its off topic, but what do you all think about the Greens new billboards ?
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2008/09/05/vote-for-me/#comments

  9. Mike Collins 9

    IB – I don’t troll very often. Don’t cast aspersions that can’t be backed up with evidence sunshine or I’ll start calling you Winston.

    When I come here I usually contribute in debate (sometimes) or just observe what people on this side of the fence are saying (more frequent). I am not a supporter of the National party and always chuckle to myself when people assume that I am. Thanks Matt – I needed the laugh.

    The point I was making is that when I come here each day there is invariably more posts about how evil National is. Actually this appears to be the majority of what the contributors post. Everything appears to be considered from a viewpoint of “how can this reflect badly on National?” It gets laughable – all the more so with the feeble attempts of dismissing this as nothing.

    Note I am not trying to suggest that this is the only attack blog in the sphere. Just laughing at you is all.

    [lprent: In this case I think that IB is probably incorrect. But bearing in mind the number of people and messages here, we’re going to get things incorrect sometimes. ]

  10. Matthew Pilott 10

    Mike – you’re generally good to debate a point with, which is why I was surprised by the comment. Glad to have provided a laugh, even if I didn’t say you were a National supporter as such – just reframed your ‘point’ about them.

  11. Tane 11

    Mike. I get bored of National being a pack of lying hypocrites. In fact, if you read my post again, you’ll see I was bored writing it and deliberately wrote it with that tone in mind.

    I just wish they’d start providing some policy to back up their rhetoric. The cheap hit-and-run attacks are wearing very thin.

  12. Mike Collins 12

    Yeah Matthew thanks for that. I did re-read your comment afterward and realised that myself – although it does take a close reading not to reach that conclusion.

    And thanks also Lynn. What happened was I read the post of the article and could resist commenting the way I did. Have a try yourselves – read the post title and then my comment. Might make a bit more sense then ;-).

  13. Tane 13

    Na, you were a rude bastard with nothing to add Mike. It was a typical troll comment, which is a pity, because you’re usually better. Try harder next time.

  14. Mike Collins 14

    Sorry you took it that way Tane – I didn’t mean it with the personal malice you seem to think I did.

  15. randal 15

    amazing how these people can lie with a straight face…anyway National is supposed to be the party of business yet they cant do it. They know how to chisel workers out of their wages but they cant attract high value added industry to new zealand so in the end they are just cheapskate wannabees with a spreadsheet.

  16. Alexandra 16

    The issue is worth bleating. Its serious and some young workers somehow believe the new Nats are different from the old ones. Hardly…same lineup, different leader who has his survival at stake. I clearly recall Key saying that he’d like to see lower wages but cant remember where or when. The above graph shows the effect of the ECA, and it will happen again under a Nat government. Why would anyone believe otherwise, unless your naive!

  17. Bill 17

    Neither Nat nor Labour are going to, willingly, do anything serious about closing the wage gap. Yes, labour increased the min wage and a few bits and bobs. But they are also responsible for the ERA which doesn’t really cut it at all.

    If a comparatively higher standard of living is wanted, then workers and unions are going to have to bring it about.

    But the ‘right to strike’ isn’t really on the CTU agenda and every improvement from the pat few years has been a ‘hand me down’ from government (following lobbying). Which is a problem insofar as it neuters any culture of fighting for rights.

    By contrast, I noticed in the Guardian the following “TUC faces motion on general strike. Unions call for first strike since 1926 in protest at Labour’s refusal to give back picketing rights.”

    Now although it will probably come to nought, at least some are talking about the union movement flexing some muscle.

    Meanwhile, in NZ…….

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago