National claims it created 2,300 jobs with its stimulus spending. Of course, most of this supposed stimulus was smoke and mirrors – re-announcing existing spending – and 2,300 is bugger all when there are over quarter of a million Kiwis out of work. But I had a few more problems with this announcement.
Firstly, I can’t help but note that the government didn’t say how long these jobs lasted or if they were fulltime.
Secondly, hasn’t Paula Bennett been claiming to have created 4,000 jobs single-handed? I think it’s safe to assume that both 4,000 and 2,300 are total bollocks, with as much connection with reality as the Party’s production figures in 1984.
Thirdly, how did they manage to spend so much to create so few jobs? $500 million, 2,300 jobs – over $200,000 per job. That’s appalling. The Green’s Green New Deal scheme would create jobs for $50,000 each (not counting the multiplier effect).
Why the difference? Because National has spent the money on roads. A lot of money goes on materials and equipment that are imported, not creating jobs here. A lot of the roadworks are nice to have – new Kopu bridge, Rimutaka road straightening – but pretty low benefit to cost ratio stuff that doesn’t really boost the economy in any way.
A Green New Deal, on the other hand would create far more jobs for money spent by focusing on job intensive areas – forestry, home insulation, public transport.
National has flushed a lot of the money down the drain, creating few jobs on low priority, low-value work because of their myopic focus on roads. Meanwhile, a quarter of a million Kiwis who want to work can’t get jobs, and another 125,000 can’t get enough hours.