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Labour’s Day of Shame - Workers’ Day of Sadness

Monday 6th Mar 2000
Muriel Newman
Media Release -- Other

It’s the day of reckoning today for over 5,000 low-paid workers about to lose their jobs as a result of new Labour Government policy.

“From today, the Government has instructed businesses that they must increase their minimum pay rates by 8%…in the face of clear advice from the Labour Department that the direct result will be the loss of up to 5,200 jobs,” said Muriel Newman, employment spokesperson for ACT.

“In one of the most heartless decisions a government could take, Labour has chosen to completely ignore the guidance of its professional advisers, that increasing wages without increasing productivity can only result in jobs being destroyed.

“This new Labour Government has tried to portray itself as caring, particularly for those struggling on low incomes,” Ms Newman said.

“Yet in one of its first decisions, it has condemned thousands of young and first time-workers to go back to the dole, just when they were enjoying the rewards and learning the skills that would make them valuable members of the workforce.

“This is ideology gone mad,” Ms Newman said. “Labour-Alliance claims its top priority is to create jobs and cut unemployment, yet today’s action is the very reverse of that.

“The minimum wage is generally paid to new, young and unskilled entrants to the workforce, enabling them to get a start. Now, that start is being denied, simply so Labour-Alliance can keep its promises to trade unions that higher-paid workers already in jobs will get more,” Muriel Newman said.


For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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