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National-Act would steal Xmas

2000 web site"The only threat to New Zealanders' ability to enjoy Christmas is a National-Act Government," Labour employment spokesperson Pete Hodgson said today.

"National's plans to attack New Zealanders' holiday entitlements are not dead. They're not even sleeping. Jenny Shipley promised the National Party conference in July "further action in the labour market."

"National's agenda is to allow annual and statutory holidays to be traded for cash. They will present it as a right but that is just cynical. For the most vulnerable workers there will be no choice.

"Other "reforms" they have in mind are to introduce a six month probation period during which new workers can be sacked at will, to weaken the personal grievance provisions governing dismissals and to reduce the status of the Employment Court.

"And that is just National on its own. Act would go further and scrap the minimum wage," Mr Hodgson said.

He was responding to a claim by Bill English that this would be the last happy Christmas for New Zealand families if a Labour Government was elected.

"Labour will protect public holidays, introduce fairer industrial relations law, reverse National's pension cuts, restore affordable housing to low income families, reduce the debt burden on students, increase health spending and encourage innovative new businesses.

"How Mr English can construe that as a recipe for misery - especially compared with the meanness of the last nine years - beats me," Mr Hodgson said.

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