So Cabinet has deferred its decision on the minimum with John Key simply promising “it won’t be very far away at all”. Now that’s just shoddy.
In tough economic times we need strong government leadership. Now is the time for certainty and action, it’s not the time to dither and umm and ahh. But we shouldn’t be surprised at the dithering. There are two opposing forces in Cabinet battling it out on the minimum wage.
First, John Key, ever the populist will be trying to do whatever it takes to stop National from slipping into the unpopularity it enjoyed for almost two decades. Key will be wanting to push the minimum wage higher to avoid boxing National into the unpopular mould of neo-liberal madness.
Second, Bill English, who has been telling the public for the past month that its simply not time to increase wages, will be pushing fiscal conservatism. Bill will be arguing National has to be a responsible government (by his definition of responsible) and keep the minimum wage right where it is, or at the very least keep the movement very low.
So who will win? With the decision deferred there can’t be any doubt that Cabinet is split. We’ll have to wait, but the results will be telling. Lets see who the real power behind the new government is.