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Workers will have to pay for extra week's holiday

Workers will have to pay for extra week's holiday

Every worker will pay the price for the Labour Government's decision to press ahead with its election bribe of an extra week's annual leave, says National Party Leader Don Brash.

"The National Party believes employees should have the freedom to choose. If people think there is no price to pay for the extra holiday, they are wrong.

"Employees will pay for the extra week with lower wages," says Dr Brash.

The Treasury estimates that each extra day's holiday would cost employers $100 million if every employee on leave was replaced, while Business New Zealand is predicting a much heavier toll on the economy as workers on four weeks' leave push for five weeks. Ultimately, these costs will be passed on to workers in the form of lower wages.

"There is always a trade-off between work and leisure. National believes employers and employees should be allowed to make that choice without Government interference," Dr Brash says.

"Many New Zealanders would prefer an extra week's wages rather than having another week's holiday forced upon them.

"That extra money could be used to pay school fees, buy books or school uniforms," Dr Brash says.

"The Government has already estimated the extra week's holiday will cost $68 million for the public sector. That is money that could have been used to increase the salaries of public servants, or to reduce the taxes paid by hard-working New Zealanders.

"National believes that workers should have the right to make their own decisions on the leisure/work balance. If employees want more leisure and lower wages, that should be their choice, not the Government's," says Dr Brash.

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