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Wage gap $40 a week wider under Nats

Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, July 28th, 2010 - 92 comments
Categories: national, wages, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

Closing the wage gap with Australia was one of National’s key promises in the leadup to the 2008 election. More than anything, National claimed, the 30% wage gap with Australia was proof that nine years of Labour government had failed New Zealanders.

It didn’t matter that the wage gap had opened up under National in the first place, or that it had remained steady and actually started to close under Labour. National assured the electorate that it was Labour’s fault and that they were going to fix it.

gap 450

Of course, the authors writing on The Standard knew that National’s posturing about the wage gap was driven more by focus groups than any genuine concern. They called National on their dodgy figures while political reporters lapped them up uncritically. They explained that simply cutting taxes was no plan to lift incomes, and that National’s planned employment reforms would only dampen wages like we saw in the 1990s. There was post after post after post after post explaining that National had no plan to close the wage gap, and in fact its donors, its core supporters and its own neoliberal ideology favoured relative wage reductions rather than increases.

Sure enough, Claire Trevett reports in this morning’s Dom Post that the wage gap has in fact increased by $40 a week since National gained power.

The wage gap between New Zealand and Australian workers has widened by $40 to $580 a week since National came to power in late 2008 promising to address the income gap.

Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday claimed the gap in average wages was now less than it was when Labour left office in November 2008, after being questioned about it by Labour’s David Parker.

However, a comparison of average weekly earnings in November 2008 and February this year shows New Zealand wages grew by 5.2 per cent over that period while Australia’s grew by 6.7 per cent.

Australia’s ordinary average wage rose from A$1165 to A$1243 while New Zealand’s went from NZ$891 to NZ$947. On yesterday’s currency rates, the gap widened from $540 a week in December 2008 to $580 in March this year.

This is no big surprise, no abberation. Once in government, the party of big business was never going to strengthen workers and lift their wages to Australian levels (in fact, as we’ve seen in the last few weeks their instinct is quite the opposite.) The only amazing thing is how long National managed to get away with their spin and empty rhetoric before someone decided to call them on their bullshit.

[If you still believe National ever had a genuine plan to close the wage gap, take a look at Brownlee’s pathetic performance in the video below.]

92 comments on “Wage gap $40 a week wider under Nats”

  1. Pete 1

    But it’s all about a long-term game of ‘growing the pie’, ‘equality of opportunity (but not outcomes)’, and ‘trickle down’ – seriously.

    We’ll catch up as soon as those October ’10 tax cuts kick in and the ‘step-change’ and the ‘rolling maul of changes’ and investment in infrastructure (i.e. cycleway) help us all see the National government’s ‘relentless focus’ has all been worthwhile – I’m convinced.

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    Credit where credit’s due:

    Note that Claire Trevett steps out of the ‘he said/she said’ model of ballanced reporting and runs with an objective “he said/facts are” model of journalism.

    Nice.

    • Craig Glen Eden 2.1

      Good points Pb, another day rolls on and another piece of National Party Rhetoric bites the dust and sadly for NZe’s the Gap will only get worse. Aussie is looking better and better sadly!

    • A Post With Me In It 2.2

      One can only hope that this is a “step change” to proper journalism. But I am not holding my breath.

      Can they back date the journalism to call out billy boy on his previous lies also?!

      • Roger 2.2.1

        Yes, sadly Gerry Brownlee’s answers were essentially even more stupid than the norm and probably invited journalists to do the research required into finding out the facts.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Claire will be in big trouble now, the ex journo heavies in the Beehive will punish her for this one

  3. exbrethren 3

    Key will be disappointed. Wages increasing must be a blow – as he said he’d love to see wages drop.

  4. Pete 4

    Let’s see how the PM and Minister of Economic Development get on with Oral PQs 1 and 6 today.

    1. Hon PHIL GOFF to the Prime Minister: Does he agree with his Minister of Economic Development’s statement yesterday that the current weekly income gap between New Zealand and Australian full-time workers “is certainly a lot less than it was when Labour was in office’?

    6. Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister for Economic Development: What was the gap, expressed in New Zealand dollars, between the average gross weekly wage or salary paid to an adult full-time worker in Australia compared with New Zealand in December 2008, and what was the gap in March 2010?

    Noice.

    I’m with PB BTW – Trevett’s work is definitely worthy of special credit simply for breaking the mould. (And cheers for the post Marty).

  5. Wow Brownlee really put his foot in it.

    It is Key’s turn today. Question 1 is

    “Hon PHIL GOFF to the Prime Minister: Does he agree with his Minister of Economic Development’s statement yesterday that the current weekly income gap between New Zealand and Australian full-time workers “is certainly a lot less than it was when Labour was in office’?”

    And question 6 is

    “Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister for Economic Development: What was the gap, expressed in New Zealand dollars, between the average gross weekly wage or salary paid to an adult full-time worker in Australia compared with New Zealand in December 2008, and what was the gap in March 2010?”

    Brownlee could not lie straight in bed. He claims that he did not know the figures but the gap had gone down. But Trevett confirms that the gap had gone up.

    My porkie detector went haywire when I watched that video.

  6. felix 6

    I’ll be surprised if they both show up in the house today.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      Theyll create a diversion, multiple points of order and so on.
      Its Jerrys day job to muddle and obstruct in the house.

      Expect to hear that NZ has more cats per head or detergent washes clothes cleaner in NZ now that Labour has been stopped from soiling housewives laundry

      • Pete 6.1.1

        I’d bet on blaming the effective reduction in our comparitive wages on the last three terms of the Labour government – it’s still got currency. I think I hear it in at least every other Oral PQ.

        Question is, when does this stop being an excuse for
        1. inaction, and
        2. doing the opposite of what’s needed?

        • Tigger 6.1.1.1

          Pete’s nailed it – that’s their trick when cornered, just scream loud that Labour is to blame. It’s bogus at the best of times but ultimately it’s like a fireman standing the street complaining that they didn’t start the fire so why should they put it out.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1.1.1.1

            Gerry cant blame Labour ‘today’ because yesterday he said the gap had closed under National but didnt have the numbers.
            So when its good its national and when its bad its labour ?
            Sorry Gerry, foot in mouth

            • Carol 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Today Gerry didn’t argue this. He and Key argued that, in fact, they had figures to show that the gap in wages betwen Aussie & NZ had narrowed. He said his figures showed that, in terms of relative spending power in both countries, the gap had narrowed – unlike under Labour where he claimed the real gap had grown.

              Browlnee also got into an extended explanation about which series of figures needed to be looked at – lost me. I guess I would have needed figures in front of me and some time to follow his logic. Brownlee tabled his figures.

              Goff and Labour a little later came back saying that, even with the figures that Brownlee & Key had tabled and discussed in heavily massaged terms, the gap had grown.

              Each side stuck to their story. So, now I need someone to look at & present the figures, and explain to me which party has the correct analysis of the figures…. or indeed, which are the correct figures.

              • Pete

                And voila:

                Hon JOHN KEY: … It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy; it might take a bit longer than that for us to sort it out.

                http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/a/f/7/49HansQ_20100728_00000001-1-Income-Gap-Parity-with-Australia.htm

                • Carol

                  So National are having a bob each way: ie the wage gap has ACTUALLY decreased between Aussie & NZ under National; but anyway, any lack of result is Labour’s fault..??!!

                  • Prepare for the stretching of your brain trying to accommodate the maschinations of the National Party where they promised to close the gap, did really dumb stuff which made the gap bigger but continued to blame Labour for it even though with the benefit of hindsight Labour did a very good job.

                • Armchair Critic

                  And what he meant was:
                  Hon JOHN KEY: It took 9 years for Labour to make a complete and utter mess of the economy; it might take a bit longer than that for us to sort it out sell it all off to our backers.

    • Armchair Critic 6.2

      I expect they will be good employees and produce a doctor’s certificate explaining their one day absence. Just like the rest of us might shortly be expected to do…..

    • Fisiani 6.3

      So John Key and Gerry slam dunked Labour today. Chortle.
      It was great to see the apoplectic faces on the opposition benches as the firecrackers fizzed and spluttered out

      • Carol 6.3.1

        Well, it was hard to work out how much there was a real basis for National’s claims today, and how much was creative accounting. But time will tell when a few people actually look at their figures closely.

        It could just as easily have been a National own goal.

      • gobsmacked 6.3.2

        Fisiani is clearly on spin duty overtime, with that absolute whopper.

        Key was anything but “relaxed” today. His most unconvincing performance in ages. And that’s with a whole day’s notice.

        He usually sees off Goff by using his adolescent comedy routine, but it didn’t work today.
        It’s not a pretty sight when a comedian’s trying too hard and needs the canned laughter. Better just get off the stage.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.3.3

        Open your good eye Fisiani then put in your hearing aid and yup Key was talking shit! thats what shit sounds like. what a bad week for National its all starting to unravel as the taste of the John Key wine becomes a distant memory.

  7. tc 7

    I always thought that the nats campaign of closing the gap meant actually moving to OZ……there’s no other way it’ll be achieved under their stewardship.

    Ya know much like any bankers rhetoric about security, great returns, cheque’s in the mail etc etc

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    Where are all the wing nuts today are they all sick as well?

    • Even wingnuts do not want to defend the indefensible.

    • loota 8.2

      I want to see the wing nuts provide proof of illness dammit.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.3

      Having a holiday in London with the olds – you didnt think there was more than one !!

    • Andrew 8.4

      Unlike you lefties that all seem to hang out on this blog all day with nothing better to do than being ready to congratulate and high five each other on another awesome smack down on a n00b RWNJ …. we are all out working. You should try it some time.

      Do your bosses know how much time you spend on political blogs every day of the week?

      Anyhoo, back to the point at hand. From the same article:

      “The increase is unsurprising. Australia managed to stay out of recession during the global economic crisis while New Zealand was in recession for much of that period, with pay freezes common.”

      Think that pretty much hits the nail on the head. Would have been nice if we had stayed out of recession, but we didn’t, hence the consequences.

      • Carol 8.4.1

        You assume we all work 9-to-5 weekdays.

        Shane Jones is being very impressive on Key/National’s lack of narrative, plastering over underlying emptiness by focusing on marginal issues. National’s lack of leadership, Key’s emty rhetoric, and being out of NZ too long to really understand what’s needed in NZ.

        Jones is a very good speaker.

        • Tigger 8.4.1.1

          He also assumes we all work for someone else or that we are not the boss or that we’re not on call 24/7 so aren’t as strict on ourselves between 9 to 5 as some others… I thought righties were all about flexibility in the workplace.

      • Pete 8.4.2

        “a n00b RWNJ …”

        …speaking of…

        “Unlike you lefties…”

        How do you explain Kiwiblog et al Andrew?

        Jeez, it’s like fish in a barrel with some of ’em…

        • Andrew 8.4.2.1

          Farrar is on holiday, i guess he will get around to commenting on it when he feels like it. Hop back in your barrel, there’s a good fishie

          • Pete 8.4.2.1.1

            Say what?

            You were talking about the comments here, I was talking about the comments there… or have they dried up while Farrar holdays? Nup? Ok then.

            Thanks for adding to the discussion.

            • bobo 8.4.2.1.1.1

              I hope Andrew puts “telling off lefties for wasting work hours” for 3.45pm and 4.08pm on his timesheet today.

          • Kevin Welsh 8.4.2.1.2

            Yeah, I can hardly wait to check out the latest photos of his bath house tour of Turkey.

      • Craig Glen Eden 8.4.3

        We are the bosses Andrew, havent you worked it out yet? Hell nothing worse than a dumb wingnut as an employee aye.

        Its only in your deluded world Andrew that the boss could only be a Tory.

        “The increase is unsurprising. Australia managed to stay out of recession during the global economic crisis while New Zealand was in recession for much of that period, with pay freezes common.’ So they did the right thing economically we did the wrong thing Get it Andrew or shall I type it slower.

        • Andrew 8.4.3.1

          We were in recession before the rest of the world numb nutts. That started under labours watch. Now, did you get that, or should I type slower?

          • IrishBill 8.4.3.1.1

            Actually our early recession has been a lot shallower than other countries. That’s because we started from a lower government debt ratio. I’m not saying it couldn’t be a lot better as Cullen wussed out on targeting the housing debt bubble, because of his pathological fear of regulating the private sector, but his moves to pay down debt and boost savings through the super fund and Kiwisaver gave us some breathing room.

            And it’s spelled “nuts” and “labour’s” you fucking moron.

            • Andrew 8.4.3.1.1.1

              Don’t call me a fucking moron you anonymous coward. I was responding to a snarky comment made at me, I responded with facts. So why would you call me a fucking moron? Nice work! It’s tricky typing on an iPhone. Sorry I didn’t pass the Irish spelling bee.

              • IrishBill

                My house, my rules. You’re banned for life. Fool.

                • Andrew

                  Oh, and I can comment under any IP and email address I choose, so just try banning me.

                  • loota

                    IrishBill is right though Andrew, you are a fucking moron.

                    (Please excuse the language, Irish).

                • Herodotus

                  IB- just minor issues Lab lost the Oct 90 election yet this graph displays the 1990 year as blue, also there is no 2008 year data to finalise the trends of the red team. I would hate for incomplete data to be used by either side. It would also be of interest to see the graph continue to incorporate the blue teams reentry into the chart, also the 84-90 to see from what base we started. As I think pre 84 NZ was a basket case and data would have minimal relevence.

          • mickysavage 8.4.3.1.2

            We were in recession before the rest of the world numb nutts.

            The sad thing about having an agrarian based economy and suffering a drought is that your income goes down. Now please explain why Helen is to blame?

            • loota 8.4.3.1.2.1

              Replying to Andrew makes me think that we’re all just going to get dirty while he squeels in enjoyment.

  9. tc 9

    Yes indeed the paper mache political sculpture known as NACT built upon the business rountable/insurance council/fed farmers/booze industry and others paper and paste is showing up as the short term, don’t look too hard, flimsy piece of crap that it is…..would’ve washed away months ago if we had an MSM with hoses instead of lederhosen.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    Marty being disingenuous again.

    Firstly, Claire Trevett referred to the wage difference in the context of the current exchange rate. Therefore, if the Kiwi suddenly surges against the Auz then the difference will disappear or perhaps go the other way. Also, a lower exchange rate is good isn’t it? Makes our exports more competitive. If we export more then we will close the gap. I bet you will be stamping your feet demanding action to reduce the exchange rate if we are at Auz 90 cents again.

    Secondly Trevett herself says:

    “The increase is unsurprising. Australia managed to stay out of recession during the global economic crisis while New Zealand was in recession for much of that period, with pay freezes common.”

    Australia was one of the only countries to stay out of recession. This was due to Australia enjoying massive exports to China over that period. Therefore, it is a bit rich to criticize National when the conditions have made it virtually impossible not keep up no matter what we did. I doubt very much that Labour would have been able to do much differently without putting the country massively further into debt.

    • Pete 10.1

      It’s almost as if suggesting that we’d ‘catch up with Australia’ was a ploy to get elected or something – go figure.

      • tsmithfield 10.1.1

        So was the “promise” of closing the gap with Australia to be met within a given time frame? I seem to remember National saying it would take a long time to achieve this.

        • mickysavage 10.1.1.1

          Aw TS they did promise. I remember it clearly.

          You mean they never intended to keep their promise?

          • tsmithfield 10.1.1.1.1

            “Aw TS they did promise.”

            Link?

            • Pascal's bookie 10.1.1.1.1.1

              It was just yesterday t, that gerry was saying they were already closing it…

              “Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday claimed the gap in average wages was now less than it was when Labour left office in November 2008, after being questioned about it by Labour’s David Parker.”

              Try and keep up.

              • tsmithfield

                According to Travett the difference was exchange-rate adjusted. Given that the rate has recently been as low as 75 cents recently and is now at 81 cents, the gap has been closing compared to when the rate was 75 cents.

                • loota

                  well if we keep jacking up our OCR and attract overseas currency to speculate on the NZD, its value should keep going up versus the AUD. In this way we will sooner or later reach wage parity with Australia, and no more kiwis will leave for Aussie jobs.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I heard you the first time t, and holy shit you’re right. If we had parity with the euro, then we might even catch up. Be ahead even.

                  But sfw?

                  Not even the parliamentary tories are fucking shameless enough to run the line you’re attempting, and they’re so godawful blatant they’ve got Dumkoff Garner calling them hacks.

              • Carol

                Did Brownlee say that yesterday?

                Brent Edwards on Nat Rad, said that in referring to the figures Key & Brownlee were using today, the Nats carefully left out mentioning 2008. The Nats said that in terms of spending power, the Aus-NZ wage gap was now smaller under National than various other specified years under Labour. Edwards said that they carefully left out 2008, because, even with Nat’s adjusted figures, the Aus-NZ wage gap between Labour’s last year in office and now had grown.

            • mickysavage 10.1.1.1.1.2

              TS

              Link?

              You have to be kidding. Key has said this so many times, just Google it.

              I do note that National has taken down its 2008 policy from its website. I can understand this decision. If you remove your promises from public scrutiny then you can subsequently deny ever making the promise and people cannot prove you are lying …

              • tsmithfield

                Have done that. Nothing particular came up. From what I remember it was more of an “aspiration” and did not have a set time frame.

                • Armchair Critic

                  [National and ACT] have agreed on the concrete goal of closing the income gap with Australia by 2025.
                  Straight from the coalition agreement between ACT and National, TS. Have a look at page 2.
                  Have a look at the terms of reference of the 2025 taskforce, too. If wage parity was not one of National and ACT’s goals, why is it part of the taskforce’s terms of reference?
                  Aspirational? – I don’t think so. More BS from NACT? – pretty much.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Exactly Armchair,

                    Certainly a lot further out than 2010.

                    So why the big fuss about a slight movement due to exchange rate fluctuations over the short-term. Its a long way to 2025 yet.

                    • Armchair Critic

                      The fuss will be because, while we may be on the road to parity, we are heading in the wrong direction.
                      Got a reference to show the change is due solely to exchange rate fluctuations?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      NZ Dollar would get you 85 cents in Nov 08 there ts.

                      So as stupid as I thought your argument was, it’s actually worserer.

                    • Herodotus

                      Sp PB all we need to do is increase the OCr to 8% watch the NZ:Aust cross rate and then magic NZ has caught up with Aussie wages.
                      This graph only views gross wages I gather no cross over re cost of living, govt assistance, providing for the future, quality of life etc.
                      Like all pollys asspirational comments they are hollow but great sound bites. Clark did this, Bulger, Lange, Muldoon etc. The only difference is the esculation of rhetoric, I cannot wait for 2011 and watch 2 inferrrior teams the red in one courner and the blue go at it, great inspriation and like the 08 crash we the voter gets to clean up the damage from the non delivery, as increasing nos. leave middle class society and become the new growth area lower middle.
                      Aspirational in rhetoric, unambitious in what the govt delivers.

                    • tsmithfield

                      “The fuss will be because, while we may be on the road to parity, we are heading in the wrong direction.”

                      Look at the graph above, armchair. Look at the red part. Notice something.

                      The reference for exchange rates is given in my earlier post and is from the article that Marty referenced.

                    • Armchair Critic

                      Look at the graph above, armchair. Already did.
                      Look at the red part. Hard to miss it
                      Notice something. Yes – it appears to show that, after widening rapidly under the disaster that was the 1990s under National, the wage gap remained consistently bad under Labour in the 2000s.
                      Under National it is now getting worse, again. Notice that, TS? National agreed to try to improve it, and at present they are failing. Notice that, TS?
                      You don’t have a reference that shows the worsening is solely due to exchange rate fluctuations, and neither does Marty. That’s because the widening wage gap is due to other factors, including National’s appalling economic management and total lack of a plan (beyond “steal what you can”).

                  • tsmithfield

                    Actually, I noticed several things, Armchair.

                    Firstly, there was a considerable period when the wage gap was going in the wrong direction under Labour. What it shows is that short-term trends don’t mean a hell of a lot when you’re considering long-term goals. Its like saying that climate change is wrong because of a cold day.

                    Another thing is that sometimes things have to get worse before they can get better. Try learning a new skill and you will find this out. Similar with making changes in the economy. Sometimes restructuring etc that is required can cause short term pain. As the saying goes, “short term pain for long term gain”.

                    The earlier trend was under National was more to do with the explosion in commodity prices. Have a look at some graphs for price trends of commodities that Australia produces over the last 30 years or so.

                    Finally, as I mentioned earlier, there was obviously a fairly major short-term hiccup that Australia survived better than almost anyone else, thanks to China soaking up huge quantities of their commodities. So, its not surprising that over the short term wages have done better in Australia than NZ.

                    • loota

                      Yes you’re spot on, its important not to mistake short term trends and read into them more than they are.

                      So in the short term, NZ incomes are falling further behind Oz, that is neither here nor there in the scheme of things. So placing that in context over the last ten to fifteen years to check out the longer term trend…and, uh unfortunately, its completely consistent with NZ wages falling further behind Australia in the longer term as well.

                      Re your comment on a boom for Australian commodities, yes that is also fair enough, but we should consider that a real economy is built on a series of one offs – deals cut, industries developed, markets opened, short term opportunities taken when they appeared. Those one offs are valid and important to consider because each one can go someway to building a bit more strength into an economy.

        • gobsmacked 10.1.1.2

          It’ll be 2025. Don Brash is onto it.

          Oh wait, his report’s been chucked in the bin.

          Next …

  11. illuminatedtiger 11

    “We would love to see wages drop” – John Key

  12. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    During Keys tirade answering this oral questions, he sounded as though hes been to a long lunch!

    Seriously , was Key drunk in the House

    • Carol 12.1

      Key’s speech in the House today seemed slurred to me. As I watched it I started wondering, “What is he on? Or is that the way he talks all the time & I was just noticing it?”

      • gobsmacked 12.1.1

        When he’s under pressure, Key talks faster. So he gabbles and slurs more. It’s a dead giveaway.

        Ask any detective: when the crims lie, they lie fast.

        • illuminatedtiger 12.1.1.1

          Has anyone ever noticed that when answering questions he doesn’t blink?

  13. gobsmacked 13

    3 News had a good report tonight, exposing John Key as “slippery”.

    There are statistics, damn statistics, and John Key’s statements to Parliament.

    • Carol 13.1

      Yes, I noticed Garner referred to Key’s use of statistics in the House today as “slippery”, for focusing on earlier years and not mentioning the gap since 2008. He said that afterwards Garner pinned Key down to agreeing that, even on his own statistics, the wage gap had increased between Aus & NZ by $22.00 since 2008.

      But Garner ended by saying that the gap should close a bit when the Nats’ tax cuts start to have an impact at the end of the year. In contrast, Brent Edwards on Nat Rad reckoned Key & Brownlee’s predictions of the gap closing in future were not very realistic.

      • Carol 13.1.1

        In reading the Blue’s series here on “The States of John Key”

        http://www.thestandard.org.nz/the-states-of-john-key-%E2%80%93-nasty-side/

        http://www.thestandard.org.nz/the-states-of-john-key-%E2%80%93-telling-the-truth/

        The states of John Key – Avoidance

        I have wondered about the difference between using such skills in the context where he developed them (as a finance trader), and using them as a politician. As a finance trader, was he used to having a large amount of his moves and strategies made public? Was he able to get away with being “slippery” because few would see how he operated with diverse people in different contexts?

        Whereas in politics much more of the way Key operates is a matter of public record. In stretching the truth today in the House, and avoiding dealing head-on with the rise in the Aus-NZ wage gap, did it not occur to him in advance that journalists would notice he was avoiding making a direct comparison between 2008 & now?

      • kriswgtn 13.1.2

        “But Garner ended by saying that the gap should close a bit when the Nats’ tax cuts start to have an impact at the end of the year”

        But he forget to remind the public about the gst rise
        ooohh achieving is my anti spam word

        the NACTS achieving exactly what they set out to do. and it got NOTHING to do with closing the gap

  14. Zaphod Beeblebrox 14

    The gap is much larger than what it appears to be because Key is neglecting to mention-

    1. Australians get 10% of their wage contributed to their super. If you salary sacrifice you get a lo of it tax-free

    2. NZ is soon to have 15% GST versus 10% for Oz.

    3.Workers in Oz can claim things like work uniforms, self education expenses, travel between work places, school uniforms and home office expenses even if they are PAYE employees. Thats even before you consider the plethora of rebates- health insurance, child care, school fees and books etc etc etc..

    Not sure slippery and double Dipton included all that in their calculations.

  15. Daveosaurus 15

    Lynn, if you’re reading, I see an error in the headline image as viewed from the site’s main page (i.e. the image at http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/national-brighter-future.gif ).

    It’s missing a silhouette of a number of empty seats and a couple of brain-dead robots.

    Hope that helps.

    [lprent: Ummm I wonder who they are? The thumb images get cut off to make a square image… ]

    • Daveosaurus 15.1

      Not on Firefox version 3.6.8 on Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 it isn’t – not the first one on the headline article, anyway. The other images are cut down to 100px x 100px, but the one in question is showing the full image, taking up the entire right-hand column.

      • loota 15.1.1

        I should say, I am running those exact specs and that headline image is alot bigger than 100×100, looks like 400w x 300h, and yes it fills up the width of that right hand column.

  16. randal 16

    the fact of the matter is that our wunnerful lil ole country will never catch up to australian wage rates and like superannuation it has become a perrenial bone of contention that willnever be solved.
    unless.
    national is the party of business.
    where is the new business?

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    1 day ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
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    1 day ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
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    1 day ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
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    1 day ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
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    2 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
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    2 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
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    2 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
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    2 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
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    2 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
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    3 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
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    3 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
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    4 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
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    5 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
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    5 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
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    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
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    5 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
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    5 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
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    6 days ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
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    7 days ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
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    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
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    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System
    Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said at its launch in Auckland today. “About 300,000 young adults aged between 15 and 29 are not fully protected against measles, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
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    1 week ago
  • Work to begin on a possible new public media entity
    The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media has announced work will begin on a business case to assess the viability of forming a new public media entity.   “The Government must ensure New Zealanders have a strong independent public media service for decades to come, which means ensuring public ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Government support for communities impacted by flooding
      Minister of Civil Defence Hon Peeni Henare announced today that the Government will contribute $100,000 to the Southland regional Mayoral Relief Fund, to support communities impacted by the recent flooding in Southland.  Mr Henare says this week’s flooding has caused significant disruption to communities in the lower South Island.  ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New grants for seismic strengthening of heritage buildings
    Heritage buildings throughout New Zealand will benefit from the $1.1 million in Heritage EQUIP funding grants announced today. “These grants for seismic strengthening projects help private building owners get the advice they need to start building work or to get the work completed,” Grant Robertson says. “Timaru’s Grosvenor Hotel has ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Next level results for game development industry
    A new survey has found New Zealand’s game development sector has grown beyond expectations and is on track to becoming a billion dollar industry in 2025, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says. “New Zealand’s interactive media sector grew by 42 per cent in last financial year to $203.4 million, according ...
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    2 weeks ago