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Good law making process falls victim to politics

Monday, June 9th 2008

Good law making process falls victim to politics

Parliament's decision last week to override its own Select Committee is so extremely rare we can't recall it has happened before, says David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for EMA (Northern).

The vote by 61 to 60 was on the Minimum Wage and Remuneration Amendment Bill aimed at setting minimum pay for anyone operating as a contractor.

"The bill affected all businesses presenting quotes for work and interferes fundamentally with the way business is done here or in most places in the world," Mr Lowe said.

"The Select Committee concluded it was unworkable without a total rewrite.

"Then some of the same MP's who said this apparently changed their minds in Parliament and voted it should proceed.

"The upshot is Parliament will have to make such big changes to the bill it will become in effect a different, new law.

"If MP's reverse their positions on it, the changes being made are not small; it's a new law and surely public submissions should be called on it.

"Anything less is simply bad law making process.

"The Bill in question is another example of writing a very broad law to deal with very narrow concerns specific to a small number of people. But neither the public nor businesses will have any opportunity to try and ensure the new law can work.

"The change comes right after the government's decision to give longer serving public servants five weeks holiday, and as people are struggling to come to terms with the deeply flawed Electoral Finance Act, another law amended at the last minute without public consultation."


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