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Boosting productivity and pay

Wayne Mapp - National Party Industrial Relations Spokesman

3 March 2005

Boosting productivity and pay

National's Industrial Relations spokesman, Wayne Mapp, says boosting productivity and reducing the tax burden are the best ways to increase income in a sustainable way.

Dr Mapp outlined National's approach to industrial relations at the 19th Annual Premier Industrial Relations Conference in Auckland today.

He told the conference that National will:

- Repeal the Employment Relations Law Reform Act, removing the preferential role of unions.
- Introduce a 90-day probation period for new workers, reducing barriers to employment.
- Ensure the adjudication process is legally based, not stacked with PC-appointees.
- Incorporate the best of the Employment Contracts Act 1991 and the Employment Relations Act 2000 into a new act, providing greater choice and flexibility for both employers and employees.
- Cut red tape associated with OSH legislation.
- Overhaul the Holidays Act to ensure employers do not face unnecessary costs that saw one in three cafes and restaurants close between Christmas and New Year.

"These changes will give employers and businesses the flexibility to maximise productivity and make way for pay rises, whereas Labour is more concerned with keeping their union mates happy," says Dr Mapp.

"That's hardly surprising, when you consider that almost half of current Government MPs have union affiliations, including 12 current and former Ministers. I would be interested to know where they stand on the current union demand for a 5% across-the-board pay rises.

"This extreme anti-business campaign is very difficult to justify. If the unions are serious about boosting wage rates then they should go after Labour to bring down taxes and boost productivity in the workplace. This will give businesses and employers room to provide wage increases."

National has pledged to reduce personal and corporate taxes.

Dr Mapp says National's industrial relations policy will provide the essential flexibility that will enable productivity gains to match those of our closest competitors and lead to real increases in after tax income.

ENDS

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