Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Free Press, 12 February 2019 - How Wages Grow


The House Resumes

Parliament is back after giving the country a glorious break. All bets are off as the Government resumes its experiment of torturing a free market economy with policies they used to dream about in the student union lunch room. ACT will continue to stand up for opportunity and freedom because those values enable happiness and prosperity.

How Wages Grow

Raising wages isn’t complicated but it seems we must state and restate basic truths to keep them alive. More investment, better ideas, and more skilful workers combine to produce more valuable products and services. The more tax, regulation and compliance costs governments throw in the gears, the slower those wheels turn. This week, Free Press looks at the Government’s so called ‘Fair Pay Agreements.’

Old Socialist Seeks Salvation

Poor old Jim Bolger has never recovered from the days when Ruth Richardson made him do stuff. Stuff that helped make New Zealand a top economic performer in the 1990s such as cutting government spending and basing employment law on contracts. He is now cosying up to the Labour Party in an attempt to reintroduce national awards and, we can only imagine, salve his socialist soul.

Not Just any Labour Government

The Clark Government kept Jim Anderton in line and was contemptuous of the Greens. Today’s Labour Party effectively gives the unions a casting vote on its leadership and proposes much more radical change. This is the kind of Labour Government that Jim Bolger is cuddling. Some say Jacinda Ardern has no substance, but can anyone imagine her selling out and helping undo her Government’s policies in 20 years’ time?



Fair Pay Agreements

Bolger is now the lead proponent of these new national awards, where everyone in an industry, regardless of employer, gets the same collective agreement. They can be initiated by just ten per cent of workers in an industry, or 1,000 workers. If the industry has more than 10,000 workers, then a national award might be initiated by fewer than 10 per cent of the workforce. Or, a national award can be initiated in the ‘public interest,’ but we don’t know what that means.

What’s an Industry?

Once upon a time, classifying workers wasn’t too different. There were tinkers, tailors, soldiers and sailors, with the odd airline pilot floating around. Today there are social media influencers, life coaches, and brand managers too. Free Presspredicts that categorising workers will be almost impossible, but much effort will be wasted fighting and trying.

Back to Front

Nobody can sustainably raise wages by wishing or legislating. The Fair Pay Agreement Working Group argues that collective bargaining might actually raise productivity, then admits there’s no real evidence for this claim. Instead, Fair Pay Agreements will be more sand in the gears of business, meaning people will spend more time complying and less time producing. The exact opposite of what is needed for prosperity.

Harder to Make a Difference

Self-esteem is called that because you can only build it for yourself. National awards would take us back to the days where effort and initiative are neither here nor there. In sum, it is a misguided policy that would drain good incentives from the workplace, tie people up in arranging to do work more than doing work, and making us all poorer in pocket and in spirit. It is worth resisting for a better future.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Anti-Corbyn Split In British Labour

The resignation of seven UK Labour MPs in protest against the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is another example of the centre-left’s readiness to sabotage its own cause – such things are always allegedly done on principle – even if the outcome hands the country over to Conservative rule for five more years.

Certainly, a technician hot-miked at the splitters’ press conference was pretty sure this would now be the outcome, and he accidentally informed the nation to that effect. More>>

 
 

Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>

ALSO:

Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>

ALSO:

Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>

ALSO:

Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels