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Mallard's Attack On Workers & Business Outrageous

Mallard's Attack On Workers And Business Outrageous

Labour Minister Trevor Mallard's attack this morning on both workers and employers is outrageous and baseless, says the Employer and Manufacturers Association (EMA).

The EMA predicts that Mr Mallard's law will have a particularly severe impact on the old and young.

"Mr Mallard's law will require employers to pay people in KiwiSaver more than those who don't join," Alasdair Thompson, the Chief Executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association said.

"Though the EMA campaign is on behalf of both workers and employers, it is particularly for those not in KiwiSaver, the young, old and those who cannot afford to join.

"For example, a 19 year old café worker living at home rent-free decides she can afford to join KiwiSaver so she gets an extra 4% employer contribution on her pay of $35,000 per annum. Her total remuneration goes up by $1400 to $36,400. Her workmate on the same $35,000 pay who is 17 is not entitled to an employer contribution and so misses out on this $1400. Mr Mallard wants to lock in that discrimination.

" EMA wants employees and the employer to be able to continue to bargain in good faith over how this $1400 increase in the 19 year olds total remuneration is treated.

"This allows them to all agree to increase the total remuneration of the 17 year old as well to remove the $1400 difference which would discriminate against the 17 year old, under Mr Mallard's legislation. The 19 year old in KiwiSaver will of course also get a one off taxpayer funded gift into their KiwiSaver account of $1000 plus another taxpayer gift of $1043 annually to their KiwiSaver account.

"In addition, Mr Mallard's claim that he has been in contact with the EMA for some time on this issue is a lie. It was only when Mr Mallard was alerted to our campaign that he decided to issue a last minute invite to us to participate in a conference call, on which he refused to commit to public consultation on his proposed legislation. In fact last Friday his office phoned the EMA to decline to discuss the issue.

"Mr Mallard's assertion that the EMA was "stealing" from its own staff to pay the employer contribution is also patently untrue and he knows it."

Mr Thompson said the EMA also agreed with comments from Michael Chamberlain, Principle of KiwiSaver Aventine, who was reported in yesterday's Herald saying, "If the Minister proceeds with changes, the worst case scenario is that those who can't afford to join KiwiSaver may be discriminated against because those who can afford to participate have to be paid 4% more (under Mr Mallard's proposal)."


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