This week, miners from the state-owned company Solid Energy came to Parliament asking the Government to help save their jobs.
I was there with other Labour MPs to welcome and support them. Unfortunately their plea was rejected in a decision that is devastating for the hundreds of workers affected, their families and communities.
It’s all related to National’s plan to privatise Solid Energy. It’s effectively winding down operations by mothballing the mine and cutting jobs until coal prices go up and the company is more attractive to private investors. This is wrong.
Labour’s approach would be very different. We don’t believe in selling the country off. We’d treat Solid Energy as a viable business that is suffering a downturn but has good long-term prospects.
Labour has always stood for decent jobs with decent pay, and for the communities those jobs support.
That’s why we’ll take steps to encourage job creation, including supporting Kiwi exporters to help them grow and changing the tax system to encourage more investment in productive businesses rather than the Auckland property market.
We’ll also help Kiwis into jobs in the trades by paying employers the equivalent of the dole to take on apprentices. We won’t sit back and watch 1000 people a week leave for Australia.
We want to create a country that we can be proud of again – built on jobs, opportunity and fairness. That’s our plan and we appreciate your support in getting there.
Leader of the Labour Party
NEWS IN BRIEF
The Government is so consumed by the Kim Dotcom saga that it’s taken its eye off what matters most to Kiwis – jobs.
The buck stops with John Key. He has sole democratic oversight of our intelligence agencies but his handling of this issue has been incredibly lax. His claim that he knows nothing about what went on beggars belief. This incident undermines New Zealanders’ confidence in our intelligence agencies, it’s also embarrassing for us internationally and damages our reputation as one of the world’s most honest and transparent countries.