CTU MEDIA RELEASE
04 November 2008
Memo to TVNZ: 6 Questions for John Key
The Council of Trade Unions has six questions it believes John Key should be asked in the TVNZ Leaders’ Debate tonight given the focus on jobs and the economy.
Helen Kelly, CTU President, says that there are vital issues affecting workers that are at stake in this election and these questions highlight their concerns.
1. How can workers feel secure in these uncertain times when the National Party policy would mean that at any one time up to 100,000* workers can be on employment agreements where they can be sacked with no right of appeal against unfair dismissal?
2. How can workers trust the National party to increase the minimum wage when for years in the 1990s it was capped at $7 an hour?
3. How can the National party justify tax cuts that give $11,620 to someone earning $500,000 a year and only $680 to someone earning $20,000 a year?
4. How can the National party justify a policy which reduces by $500 annually the member tax credit paid by the Government to a KiwiSaver on $20,000 a year?
5. How can the National Party assure workers that their plan to privatise the ACC will not mean that benefits are reduced for workers while Australian or other overseas insurance companies make profits out of work accidents?
6. How will the National Party develop policy that will take the NZ economy forward if it cuts policy jobs in public service?
Any serious debate about the future of the New Zealand economy and jobs must address these questions, Helen Kelly said.
* This is based on Statistics NZ figures showing that 97% of enterprises employ fewer than 20 workers and that represents 31% of the workforce. The most recent Linked Employer Employee Data show that there are 348,580 new starts in each 90 day period. This equates to 108,059 new starts every 3 months in enterprises with fewer than 20 workers. This is an approximate figure only as some workers will start more than one job in a 3 month period.