Up the Government’s sleeve

Written By: - Date published: 9:33 am, May 23rd, 2009 - 8 comments
Categories: budget 2009 - Tags:


National may be talking down the budget, but there have been hints coming out of Wellington that suggest the government will announce a significant initiative on budget day to help save jobs. If true, it shouldn’t be unexpected.

– The cycleway has been a miserable failure, with no jobs having been created midway into the recession

– The nine day fortnight has been a miserable failure, with just two or three companies taking it up

– All the while, the government itself has cut more than a thousand public service jobs. And tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in the private sector

Politics aside, a new and significant jobs initiative could be a really good thing. Jobs are people’s livelihoods. We should hope however that whatever form this initiative takes, it’s sensible. And if a significant amount of money is being spent, it should be well spent.

A new scheme to save jobs, coupled with the government’s promise for more spending in critical areas, not less, makes me think that Budget 2009 may not be an exercise in Scrooge economics after all.

8 comments on “Up the Government’s sleeve”

  1. Indiana 1

    Eddie, how many jobs were created with the purchase of Kiwirail? Do you believe the Unions derailed the 9 day fortnight by asking for a full top up from the government? I’m begining to believe that you are the kid that opens his Christmas present before Christmas day and then spends the rest of the time feeling depressed.

    • Eddie 1.1

      Kiwirail wasn’t intended as a job creation scheme.

      If you listen to what the unions are saying one of the reasons why the 9 day fortnight isn’t being taken up is because there simply isn’t enough in there for workers or employers.

      Workers don’t want a 10% pay cut, and employers don’t see any benefit in the scheme as it is, particularly with the training component removed. It’s a good scheme in theory, but the Nats have tried to do it on the cheap and as a result it’s fallen flat.

      I’d like to see some substantial funding in the Budget for a proper jobs plan to protect the jobs we have and provide new employment opportunities for Kiwis who are made redundant. If they do that I’ll welcome it.

  2. IrishBill 2

    Indiana, unions asked for a top up. Not a full top up. IMHO that’s fair enough too. Or should the workers and the taxpayers be the only ones to take a hit on the scheme?

  3. infused 3

    – The cycleway has just had funding approved
    – Public service jobs had to go

    I am quite happy with how NZ is handling the recession. We don’t need to bankrupt ourselves like the US to ride this one out.

    People are going to lose jobs. It’s a shame, but it’s the natural way of correction.

    • Macro 3.1

      Thank god for the USA then! We can continue to sell our beef at a price because they are bankrupting themselves. We can continue to sell our sheep meat at a price because the rest of the world is taking corrective action to address the problems. Here we a continuing to live in a fools paradise – I take issue with Eddie on this we are no where near half way through this depression – Its more than 2 quarters of falling GDP so it strictly a depression. The civil construction industry is running to a standstill right at this moment. There are virtually no new developments on the table as I write. The new season to begin in October has nothing planned or being financed. When the current crop of developments is finished that is it. The proposed highways etc of the so called stimulus package will add very few jobs – roading is NOT labour intensive.
      I fear we have far more pain to suffer in the year ahead – and this crowd sit on their hands!

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    Its a shame NZRail wasn’t bought as a job creation scheme, Eddie. Before Prebble ‘saved’ rail it was a training ground for thousands of workers who got actual, useful trades based skills. I reckon that’s a much better option than paying people to just go home.

    I seem to recall the unions wanted the 10th day to have a training component, which would also be socially productive. What ever happened to that?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Before Prebble ‘saved’ rail it was a training ground for thousands of workers who got actual, useful trades based skills.


      An actual job where skills are learned and self respect is maintained is far better than an unemployment “benefit” that benefits no one except the people who want to keep wages down.

  5. Rich 5

    One way to save jobs would be to stop public sector job cuts.

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