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Changes to ERB must be open to public submissions

Ministers' changes to ERB must be open to public submissions

Tonight's special meeting of Coalition Ministers to consider changes to the Employment Relations Bill must agree to another round of public submissions on the re-vamped Bill, Opposition Industrial Relations spokesperson Max Bradford said today.

"Helen Clark has been telling businesses that regardless of what the select committee decides, the Government will make changes to the ERB.

"If she is as good as her word, that means the thousands of people who have made submissions have been talking about a different piece of legislation.

"To say nothing of abusing the select committee process, it would be a mockery of Labour's commitment to 'good faith' negotiations to put the revised Bill through Parliament without hearing more submissions.

"The Government says it is listening to people. This is its chance to show it is serious."

Mr Bradford said he also had concerns about a letter Helen Clark sent to thousands of businesspeople last week trying to dampen down their concerns.

"The letter sheds very little light on the changes the Government wants to make. Business concerns are far deeper and more fundamental than those touched on in the generalisations from Helen Clark.

"Business want the detail of the proposed changes, and want to have a say on them. They don't want public relations fluff.

"She has also used a taxpayer-funded letter to urge readers to visit Labour's website, where visitors find forms inviting them to join Labour or give donations.

"It's an inappropriate use of the Prime Minister's position to use taxpayers' money for party political uses."

Ends

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