There are some out there claiming Key’s statement that he “would love to see wages drop” is out of character.
Now I’m always willing to give people the benefit of the doubt and we know actions speak louder than words so I thought I’d have a look at Key’s actions. And what actions would speak louder than an MP’s voting record? After all, legislation is what they’re there to do.
So let’s have a look:
Abolishing youth rates: voted no
Paid parental leave: voted no
Four weeks annual leave: voted no
A minimum of time and a half for working public holidays: voted no
Protections for vulnerable workers: voted no
Flexible working hours: voted no
Working for Families: voted no
KiwiSaver: voted no
While that doesn’t look too good it’s possible that National could have been simply cynically voting against the government rather than directly voting against better lives for New Zealand workers. Well, maybe.
It turns out the National Party has been pro-active in the arena of work rights in the last couple of years – they’ve been pro-actively trying to reduce them. In 2006 the party drove up a member’s bill that would have seen anybody who started a new job have no work rights at all for the first 90 days of that job – that’s over 100,000 people in any given year who could face getting the sack for no reason and with no come-back. And as we saw from the last time the Nats were in power, when you strip away work rights wages drop.
So Key says wages need to drop. He and his party vote against every piece of legislation that might raise them and try to put legislation in place that would lead to wages dropping (it’s well worth noting that their 90 day no-rights bill is still core policy). Misquoted? I think not.
I must say it is good to see John say something he actually believes and that his party is working so hard to bring into action. And, as Cullen pointed out yesterday in the house, has worked so hard to achieve in the past.