May 28, 2009
Budget fails Kiwi workers - EPMU
The budget delivered today has failed to provide job security for New Zealand workers and will only deepen the recession, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
While the extra funding for the Greens’ insulation fund is welcome the majority of budget lines offer little hope for new jobs despite Treasury projecting unemployment to rise to 8% by 2010.
EPMU acting national secretary Bill Newson says the budget is a lost opportunity for the government to help Kiwi workers.
“With our economy bleeding a thousand jobs a fortnight this should have been a budget focused on providing jobs for New Zealand workers. Today the government has denied them that opportunity.
“The only mention of jobs in this budget was a re-announcement of the nine day fortnight and the ReStart scheme, both of which are ambulances at the bottom of the economic cliff.
“We are also concerned about the government’s effective cuts to industry training funding as training will be a critical part of using the downturn as an opportunity to increase our skill base in preparation for the coming economic upswing.
“Last time National were in power they cut industry training and we paid the price for that with the skills shortages of the last ten years. This Budget is setting us up for the same problems when the economy gets going again.”
The EPMU is New Zealand’s largest private-sector union, representing 45,000 workers across 11 industries.