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Labour cost rises worrying sign for business

Hon Roger Sowry MP
National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

08 October 2003

Labour cost rises worrying sign for business

"The biggest rise in annual Labour costs for six years is more evidence that the Government's pro-union agenda is starting to hit business," says National Party Industrial Relations spokesman Roger Sowry.

He's commenting on a Statistics New Zealand survey which shows Labour costs rose 2.2 per cent in the year to June, the fastest rate for six years.

"Salary and wage costs made up the lions share of the increase, but annual leave and statutory holiday costs have also been climbing.

"It's clear pro-union Government policies are behind the jump in public sector Labour costs, which are rising faster than the private sector.

"And businesses should be worried by that," says Mr Sowry.

"The Government is poised to give more concessions to its Trade Union supporters.

"Employers will be forced to absorb the extra costs associated with the Holidays Bill - although the Government has cynically timed that to kick in after the next election.

"The new Trade Union focus comes on top of a series of sneaky tax increases and a soaring exchange rate which is biting at the bottom lines of our exporters," says Mr Sowry.

Ends

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