web analytics

Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, February 5th, 2014 - 45 comments
Categories: Economy, wages - Tags: ,

Charles Waldegrave has slammed Brian Scott’s critique of the method used to calculate the Living Wage in New Zealand.

In a detailed and interesting analysis, he addresses the databases used to develop the Living Wage and compares the New Zealand approach with that of other countries. He shows Scott’s critique, and that of the Treasury, lack an informed understanding of the definition of a living wage and confuse market wage rates and welfare transfers.

He also demonstrates how Scott selectively applies international comparative data and consistently misapplies the use of Statistics New Zealand’s Household Economic Survey database. Further, he states Scott provides no evidence for his assertions about the negative impacts of the living wage on workplace morale and productivity.

Waldegrave cites the evidence of the balance of studies that have shown positive business and economic outcomes from living wage policies internationally.

*The living wage level was set at $18.40 per hour in February 2013. Scott’s paper has been given prominence on David Farrar’s Kiwiblog 3 January 2014

 

 

 

45 comments on “Waldegrave responds to ‘Living Wage’ critique”

  1. Disraeli Gladstone 1

    “It is not suggested that the minimum wage be lifted to the level of the living wage.
    They are quite separate entities.”

    I sometimes feel like that get lost in translation to both the left and right. The right goes “oh no! look at this massive increase” and the left goes “everybody gets it!”

    It shouldn’t be statutorily enforced. I like the London scheme which is similar to a fair trade badge. You get the logo if you pay the living wage. I’d certainly tailor that knowledge into where I shop.

    • framu 1.1

      thats pretty much my view as well (living wage, not minimum wage)

      yes the market can decide – and the purchaser is as much a part of the market as the employer (and the use of the badge is a good idea). But theres no reason why the govt (who is a player in the market too) cant lead the way

      it will only work by showing it works and by building the expectation and demand. It wont work and is too easily undone if its a top down imposed thing

    • McFlock 1.2

      personally, I’d want very good reasons why the minimum wage is not set at a living-wage level.

      As always ( 🙂 ) I’d be looking for a phased increase rather than a blanket dictat, but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society. That includes a right to work 35-40 hrs per week, and to work only 35-40hrs per week.

      I was amused that Waldegrave’s response had to continually address the fact that tories have no idea what “dignity” means, and that it’s not the same as “minimum”.

      • weka 1.2.1

        “but everyone is entitled to live in dignity and participate in society”

        What would you do with benefit rates in that case?

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.1.1

          +1 Weka.

          Set benefit rates at living wage rates. Or don’t you want to live in high waged economy? Politics of envy handicap?

        • McFlock 1.2.1.2

          probably along the lines of what oak said above, especially for longer term benefits. Ideally the unemployment benefit is a bridging benefit, but that requires full employent policies

      • Lanthanide 1.2.2

        The only argument I could think for why the living wage should not be the minimum is that the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.

        Of course the minimum wage should be $15, preferably $16, so the leap from there to $18.40 isn’t all that much.

        • just saying 1.2.2.1

          …there are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount,…

          Sure,
          If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

          Unless you mean short-term……but for many, many, people, it’s not. And even short term in the best of all possible circumstances, why shouldn’t workers be allowed to splurge a little – have a nice meal, a holiday once in a while…..

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.1.1

            Sure,
            If they were puritans, exceptional budgeters, already set-up with low miaintenance, free or affordable accomodation, and hit no unexpected bumps along the road….ever

            Note that I’m suggesting a minimum wage of $16, and that therefore someone who was single could ‘live well’ for $16/hour.

            If you’re saying that the difference between $16 and $18.40 is so marked that all of the things you’ve mentioned here are true, for a single person, then I can only conclude that you would also consider $18.40 to be too little to raise a family on, which is what the living wage was calculated for.

            • just saying 1.2.2.1.1.1

              If you are working fulltime on $16 per hour an extra $2.40 per hour is not “chump change” it could mean you could afford to see the dentist, for example.

              Btw, I live quite well on less because I’m pretty well-set-up (though not a puritan). But when that bump comes I’m fucked, and you know what? – that’s an incessant life-sapping stress.

          • gem 1.2.2.1.2

            +1 But somehow the commensurate argument about the top of the scale never gains traction; i.e why on earth does the head of an SOE need 50 times or more the minimum wage? The double standard is a bit like John Galbraith’s ‘private opulence and public squalor’, except now we have a quasi corporate public sector where the head of the postal service gets 28 times the minimum wage.

        • karol 1.2.2.2

          It evens out in the long run as people’s circumstances change. Most single people will eventually have children. Most people with children will eventually be empty nesters. Several along the way will have others to care for – older people, injured, sick or disabled, etc.

          Good if one can have a few good times before having children. Maybe also save a little.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.2.1

            Yes, savings is a good point I hadn’t really considered.

            Anyway, I said that was the only argument I could think of, I’m not necessarily putting that forwards myself. Like I said in the post, I’m in favour of a minimum wage of $16, and I see $2.40 as being chump-change on top of that (extra 15%), so while I wouldn’t necessarily support a raise to $18.40, I also wouldn’t oppose it.

        • stargazer 1.2.2.3

          “the living wage is targeted at families with particular assumptions in mind. There are many single people or small families that could ‘live’ well on a lesser amount, and similarly many families that would need more than the calculated living wage to ‘live’ well, particularly if they have high-needs family members.”

          the living wage is based on a family of 2 adults & 2 children, with one person working 40 hours per week & the other working 20 hours per week. a single person wouldn’t be getting the wage from the additional 20 hours. the living wage also takes into account working for families entitlements. a single person without kids would not get any working for families payments.

          so taking both those things into account, a single person would be getting a significantly lesser amount in terms of their overall income. bigger families would get a higher working for families entitlement, so a higher level of overall income.

          • Lanthanide 1.2.2.3.1

            Thanks stargazer, I wasn’t aware of those specific details.

            In that case yes, $18.40 for a single person seems like a reasonable rate.

    • KJT 1.3

      A minimum wage should be at the same level as a “living” wage.

      Why should your employees, subsidise, your business?

      Capitalism 101. Businesses which cannot pay the true costs of the resources they use, including people, should be allowed to fail, to make room for those who can use their inputs more effectively.

      • Macro 1.3.1

        +100

      • Disraeli Gladstone 1.3.2

        The true costs of the resources they use (people) is not the living wage. The true cost isn’t even the minimum wage. It would be what the market decides (probably far below the minimum wage).

        That’s why we have statutory guarantees on a wage limit because capitalism would lead to an effective minimum wage that would be far too low.

        So, no. Not really Capitalism 101.

  2. One Anonymous Knucklehead 2

    Waldegrave clearly doesn’t understand how right wing facts work. His work has been subjected to a process of denial therefore it is flawed. No fact-based analysis can compete with this.

    • Macro 2.1

      Sad but true.

    • QoT 2.2

      At some point we really do have to let go of the idea we can convince the right with facts. They don’t want the people at the bottom of the ladder to have fulfilled, satisfying lives. They cannot be reasoned with on this point.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        I think the best strategy is to make their arguments the subject of ridicule.

      • RedLogix 2.2.2

        Yes. When I contemplate the gulf between the two ways of thinking – I’m tempted by the idea that there must be some irreducible genetic difference. By alas therein lies the madness of eugenics.

        I have this clear memory of an old picture from a mountain equipment catalog from the 1980’s. It was a gorgeous photo of a climber casually cooking dinner, while ensconced in a suspended bivvy dangling on one of the massive vertical faces in the Yosemite. The contrast between the eerie exposure of his position, with the domestic familiarity of what he was doing was the striking element. The caption said, “humans are the most adaptable species”.

        I guess that is what I hang onto – that we are all inherently capable of adapting to new circumstances. Change the circumstance and most people will change with it.

        Humans have arrived at one of the extremes of our adaptability. We’re an highly agonist, hierarchical and competitive society, and we are so heavily adapted to it we have trouble imagining an alternative. Or perhaps more to the point, most people have so much personal energy invested into the adaptation they really cannot let go.

        It’s my observation that it’s takes something bigger than the individual to trigger that letting go, to allow the possibility of transformation. Traditionally it has been a belief in a strong leader, the tribe, village, state or race which energises us. Or a belief system, benign or otherwise, such as the almost universal religious experience.

        Yet none of these traditional modes of transformation seem adequate any longer.

        OAK – yes but ridicule goes bpth ways.

        • greywarbler 2.2.2.1

          Red Logix
          +100

          • karol 2.2.2.1.1

            Then it just becomes a nasty, aggressive, slanging match.

            Best just to keep repeating your values and position – sometimes with facts, at other times with humour, at other times just the position, etc – there is no one way that fits all responses/contexts.

            • greywarbler 2.2.2.1.1.1

              That’s a Good simple little adage to remember karol. Well put, I think I’ll keep it. It’s a bit like How to implement a mission statement.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.1.1.2

              Yeah plus one Karol. Suit the tactics to the terrain.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.2

          RedLogix, are you sure we haven’t just adapted to having lots of cheap energy? The true range of our adaptability is determined by our environment. Easy to survive in the tropics. At the poles, in the deserts, not so much.

          As for a trans-formative experience, hang on to your hat, Dorothea.

          • RedLogix 2.2.2.2.1

            Yes and no. The Innuit have managed just fine in the Arctic and the Kalahari San thrive in an environment quite the opposite.

            What would not survive so well without cheap energy is all the technology. (Right now I’m working in an innovative mining area which is addressing urgent challenges around how to extract minerals from increasingly lower-grade ores without the energy costs going beserk – so your comment makes perfect sense from that perspective.)

            What does interest me a lot is that when you look beyond the relatively narrow confines of our own current society there are a myriad other possible ways of living. We keep making the mistake of thinking that because we have constructed a highly competitive, hierarchical, individualistic society and because people have adapted to this – that this is the ONLY way people can behave. That’s just flat-out not true.

            Almost all behaviour (as distinct from our motivations) is a social construct and is a result of the circumstances we construct and tolerate. Change these circumstances and people’s beahviour will adapt with an extraordinary flexibility.

            Jared Diamond (who I keep on referencing) used the example in his book Collapse. How Societies choose to Succeed or Fail used the example of an isolated group on a tiny, remote Eastern Pacific atolls who faced with environmental collapse chose to ban the raising and eating of pigs. This was a very big and difficult decision for them to make – but enabled them to survive an otherwise almost certain collapse.

            Part of Diamond’s argument is that when the decision-making elites of a society become too isolated, insulated, from the conditions of ordinary people – then it becomes impossible for them to make these challenging and critical reconfigurations essential to adaptation. Which always results in social collapse.

            It has been of course a religious belief in the god of progress that has sustained our society in it’s present configuration. When that god fails us – right about the time the oil fails – we will be desperately in need of a wholly new and transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.2.2.1.1

              That’s my point: the “transformative ‘idea bigger than ourselves’ to shape the way we behave”, will be our environment, as always.

              The price of oil and the costs of climate change loom large.

              • Colonial Viper

                Problem is, the environment is a highly lagging indicator.

                By the time it’s obvious to ordinary people in ‘advanced western nations’ how changed (for the worse) things have become in the global environment, it will be far too late.

  3. Tracey 3

    But joyce says that labour and greens are lying about the numbers. He wouldnt lie.

    • Macro 3.1

      Yeah! The lying bastards! I mean what do they know about wages and living?? Whereas Joyce knows how to live it up – and pay minimal wages.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Pretty sure any payroll administered by Steven Joyce would be a monumental fuckup. Not a dig at Novopay – his feeble ideology is the only connection he has with that.

        Nah, I’m saying he lacks the day-to-day diligence and care too.

  4. greywarbler 4

    I was interested in who this Brian Scott is. He is not Graham Scott from Treasury in case anyone thought that. And found some interesting links and quotes as well which I throw in to show attitudes from various people in society.

    http://www.tvhe.co.nz/2014/01/03/some-links-against-a-living-wage/
    The Visible Hand in Economics – Matt Nolan

    One site said he was a – Researcher Brian Scott
    From Home Paddock summary – But Brian Scott who has recently completed a Bachelor of Commerce and Administration with first class honours, has done a very thorough critique of the living wage proposal.

    On HomePaddock – In the critique.
    P 33 10 About the Author
    Brian Scott, 50, is currently taking a middle-age gap year after successfully completing four years of tertiary study at the Victoria University of Wellington. On completion Brian was awarded a Batchelor of Commerce and Administration (1st Class Honours), majoring in Information Systems. In addition to the degree, Brian was also awarded a prestigious “Excellence Award” which recognises the achievements of the top five percent of Business School graduates. He is not, and has never been, a member of any political party or movement.
    The BCA (Hon) is a research degree, with a focus on research and critical thinking.
    brianscotthamilton@gmail.com
    http://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/living-wage-already-raised/

    Then from stuff – http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/9606501/Living-wage-policy-is-poor-solution-to-complex-problem
    Wellington City Council’s adoption of a living wage policy represents a failure of governance, writes Nicola Young.
    “Mayor Celia Wade- Brown has defended this Alice in Wonderland approach”
    (Nicola Young is a Wellington city councillor. Last month she attempted to delay the implementation of the minimum wage to allow for consultation. Her motion was defeated eight votes to five.)

    And following on but eagerly pushing forward is dahdah – Lindsay Mitchell: Living wage critique
    lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2014/01/living-wage-critique.html‎
    Jan 3, 2014 – Brian Scott has published a critique of the so called Living Wage, and it … No all we need is a half-way competent economist to point out what every business- owner and every job-creator in NZ knows: … February 3 in history.

    (Unfortunately Brian Scott has never been in involved in any movement. Pity he didn’t move his brain more aside from the channel of Commerce towards Humanity when he was tudying.)

  5. adam 5

    Blah blah blah – f&^k the labour market. Wages have been going backwards for years. A minimum wage is a joke, it means victory for bad bosses and slack, nasty owners. Ffs come on people, if you going to work for someone else they need to pay you and pay your fair. It seems to me all this statistical analysis is a smoke screen so employers can carry on being ass-holes.

    If your not getting $27 a hour – why are you getting out of bed?

    Plus screw the moaning right wing d*&kwads if there so good with money, why does the economy keep collapsing? And why do they keep making the middle class and poorest classes pay for their bloody mistakes?

  6. freedom 6

    here is a simple table of income realted info doing the rounds today, might be useful to some.
    https://scontent-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/l/t1/q71/s720x720/71612_10152260667576477_1557799566_n.jpg

    As broadstrokes go it is quite clear, so let’s not be too pedantic on it

    • weka 6.1

      Very useful table.

      How come the person running Housing NZ earns half the person running Superannuation? (and other discrepancies).

  7. tricledrown 7

    Who less than half of the lotteries commissioner!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    17 hours ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    2 days ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 days ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 days ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    3 days ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    3 days ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    3 days ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    3 days ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    3 days ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    3 days ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    4 days ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    4 days ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    4 days ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    4 days ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    4 days ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    4 days ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    4 days ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    4 days ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    4 days ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    5 days ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    5 days ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    5 days ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    5 days ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    6 days ago
  • Swimmable Rivers tour – Ōkahukura/Lucas Creek
    When Environment Minister Nick Smith said in Parliament that some waterways – like Auckland’s Lucas Creek – are not worth saving because no-one wants to swim in them, he forgot to ask the locals we met last week who have put ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Wellington business relief package needs flexibility
    The Government’s Wellington business support package is welcome news but needs to be implemented so that all affected businesses get the help they need, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. “Wellington businesses will be pleased that the Government ...
    6 days ago
  • EQC’s staff cuts show disregard for quake victims
    The Earthquake Commission’s stubborn insistence on slashing its workforce and its operational funding by nearly half shows callous disregard for victims of the Kaikoura earthquake and the thousands of Cantabrians still waiting to resolve claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan ...
    6 days ago
  • Maori Land Court job losses must be delayed
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must request that pending job losses at the Māori Land Court are put on hold until the Māori land reform process is resolved and the risk of losing centuries of collective institutional knowledge is ...
    6 days ago
  • Financial support needed for urgent earthquake strengthening
    The Government must provide urgent support to residents for important earthquake strengthening work so that it happens quickly, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  "I support the call from Wellington Mayor Justin Lester to bring forward work to strengthen the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour welcomes equal pay
    Labour has long appreciated the value of women’s work and welcomes the Government’s decision to address pay equity for women, say’s Labour’s associate Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Sue Moroney. ...
    1 week ago
  • Surgeons’ letter a damning indictment
    A letter from Waikato Hospital’s orthopaedic surgeons claiming that hospital managers are stopping them from making follow-up checks on patients is a damning indictment of the health system, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s terrifying that one woman’s elective ...
    1 week ago
  • Out of touch Nats continue state house sell-off
    The Government should be focused on building houses for families to buy and more state houses for families in need, not flogging them off, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National’s state house sell-off does nothing to help people ...
    1 week ago
  • Joyce drags feet while Capital businesses suffer
     Wellington businesses affected by the earthquake are continuing to struggle while the Government drags its feet on getting a business assistance package up and running, says Grant Robertson, Wellington Central MP.  “Steven Joyce needs to front up with an assistance ...
    1 week ago
  • Health and Safety Act fails to reduce work fatalities
    After the Pike River tragedy, New Zealanders realised that workplace health and safety culture needed to change. Last Saturday marked the 6th anniversary of the tragedy that killed 29 miners at the Pike River mine on the West Coast of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • What is the point of education?
    The proposed Education (Update) Bill is the Government’s statement about what the point of education is, and what it means to people. This week we had a day of Select Committee hearings in Auckland on the Bill. It’s a huge ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Earthquake exposes training shortfall
    Kaikoura’s earthquakes have exposed the Government’s under investment in critical building and construction skills training, says Labour’s Building and Construction spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The Government needs to urgently ramp up the training of Kiwis in construction and engineering in the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More cops needed to get P off our streets
    National’s cuts to Police funding and drug enforcement officers has seen a surge in cheap P on our streets, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s calling the shots? Bye bye surplus
    I would love to know who is calling the shots in the National government’s cabinet when it comes to deciding how best to spend taxpayers’ money.  On the evidence of the last few weeks, it definitely isn’t Finance Minister Bill ...
    GreensBy David Clendon
    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent rethink needed on workplace safety
      An urgent rethink is needed on the Government’s new workplace safety laws with the number of deaths this year already at the same level as at the same time in the 2015 calendar year, says Labour’s Associate Workplace Safety ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rubble and rubbish: spending time in post-quake Kaikōura
    I visited Kaikoura over the weekend – basically to see how the community was coping with all the rubbish and rubble created by last week’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, and to see my brother Rob. I may have mentioned before that ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to pull the plug on state house sell-off
    The collapse of the planned sell-off of state houses in Horowhenua is an opportunity for the Government to call time on its troubled state house sell off policy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Treasury sounds warning bell – but National’s not listening
    Today's long term fiscal outlook issued by The Treasury is a welcome wake-up call on the need to dramatically improve and diversify our economy and properly plan for the future, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Finance Spokesperson says. “Through our Future of Work ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t believe the hype – debt has skyrocketed under National
    The reckless dangling of tax cuts by the National Government is all the more irresponsible when it is put alongside the failure to pay down debt or put money aside for future superannuation costs, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Our kids deserve better
    We don’t know how many children are affected by having learning support needs. I do know that far too many children are not getting the support they deserve for conditions like autism, dyslexia, and dyspraxia. When these conditions are not ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Talk of tax cuts is plain crazy
      John Key’s talk of tax cuts when the Government has $63 billion of debt, superannuation costs are rising by $1 billion a year and the cost of meeting another natural disaster, is just plain crazy, says Labour Leader Andrew ...
    2 weeks ago