Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


We could do much better

CTU Media Release

21 December 2012

We could do much better

2012 was a hard year for many people. It didn’t need to be so hard. Bill Rosenberg, CTU Economist said “yes, we live in difficult times, but government policies should be judged by how it dealt with those difficulties, not by the lazy criterion: “we muddled through”.

In 2012 –
• We saw income inequality reach its highest ever in New Zealand despite increasing international evidence that it drives many economic and social problems. The Ministry of Social Development also showed that in 2011 two-thirds of households had falling incomes. Median weekly incomes in 2012 had their smallest increase since 1999.
• Levels of poverty among children continued at levels described by experts as “unacceptable” when our aging population makes it more important than ever that we should be helping all our children make full use of their abilities for their own and society’s wellbeing.
• A just released report from the Tertiary Education Commission[1] showed that student numbers fell by an astonishing 11% in 2011 at a time when we should be increasing skills and encouraging people into education and training.
• Unemployment reached a high of 7.3 percent not seen since 1999, deteriorating from 3rd lowest in the OECD in 2006 to 15th lowest, with many more jobless or seeking more work, despite New Zealand escaping the bank failures that hit other countries. It is now not far below the falling 7.7 percent rate in the US – the heart of the bank failures.
• The economy continued to stagnate, with little sign of rebalancing away from reliance on property investment and low value commodity exports towards productive high-wage high-value industry and exports.
It doesn’t need to be like this. The Government could be
• Moving from employment relations which see workers and good pay, job security and working conditions as costs to be reduced, to treating workers as valuable assets and encourages collective bargaining, skill creation, and cooperation between unions and employers to increase productivity as a way forward – as it is in the highly successful Nordic societies. It should be scrapping its proposals to further reduce work protections and union rights.
• Taking its focus off an unrealistic budget surplus target to job creation, raising benefit levels to take children out of poverty, encouraging more people into tertiary education including industry training, building more good quality low cost houses and increasing the quality of private rental housing, providing food in schools, and taxing high incomes and capital gains (excluding the primary home) to bring in more revenue and reverse growing gaps between rich and poor.
• Greatly expanding programmes to assist people who are jobless through community job schemes, more help in retraining, matching skills to jobs, and relocation assistance.
• Assisting manufacturing and other local employers through government procurement, expanded support and funding for research and development, export marketing, and venture capital to create good jobs.
• Intervening to manage the exchange rate to make exporting more profitable and less risky.
Bill Rosenberg said “unfortunately, instead we are likely to see damaging asset sales, further attacks on working conditions, unions, and beneficiaries, and industry policies which look more like a repeat of the failed policies of the 1990s than learning the lessons of those policies and the global financial crisis. But with the right policies, New Zealand could do better.”

ENDS

[1] 2011 Tertiary Education Performance Report, Tertiary Education Commission, 20 December 2012, p.24. Available at http://www.tec.govt.nz/Documents/Reports%20and%20other%20documents/TEC-Tertiary-Education-Performance-Report-2011.pdf


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Aftermath Of The Greenwald/Snowden Revelations

The credibility issues have come down to two main ones:

1 The email This has to do with whether Key knowingly agreed to use our immigration rules as a tool to ensnare and ultimately extradite Kim Dotcom, and do so largely at the behest of Hollywood’s leading corporates and their best friend in the White House, vice-President Joseph Biden. Some of the debate in the last few days has turned on the reliability of a Warners email that seems to set out this plan in black and white. IMO, the email is just the icing on the cake...

2. Mass surveillance Earlier to day I was going to try to explain the difference between what Edward Snowden/Glenn Greenwald were talking about (ie mass surveillance via the the cable-accessing SPEARGUN programme and the Xkeyscore analytical programme) and what Key has chosen to talk about instead in order to deliberately distract and confuse the public. Then I found that Keith Ng had not only beaten me to it, but had done so with beautiful lucidity. More>>

Out-Link - "Project SPEARGUN underway" • OnPoint • Public Address

 
 

Parliament Today:

Pre-Election Chartering: Four New Partnership Schools To Open

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced the Government has signed contracts to open four new Partnership Schools in 2015. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf 50 Out Now - The Election Issue: Loss Leaders

Gordon Campbell: A third term requires a mature decision, with eyes wide open. It calls for a conscious vote of confidence… Without trying hard here are about 19 reasons, in no particular order, for not ticking ‘party vote’ National. More>>

ALSO:

Not-Especially New Plans: All Prisons To Become Working Prisons Under National

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley. More>>

ALSO:

Māngere: "False Claim Of Matai Title" - Labour

National must explain why its candidate for Māngere Misa Fia Turner appears to be using a Matai title she is not entitled to, Labour’s MP for Māngere and Pacific Islands Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio says. A Matai title is a legally-recognised ... More>>

ALSO:

CPAG Report: No New Zealand Child Should Grow Up In Poverty

Child Poverty Action Group's flagship policy publication Our Children, Our Choice: Priorities for Policy calls for cross party political agreement to underpin an action plan to eliminate child poverty in New Zealand. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell:
On National’s Phantom Tax Cut Package

Hmmm. So National’s tax cuts package turns out to be one of those television advertisements that screams a headline promise – perfect skin! a youth tonic that works! – while in very small print there’s an out clause: special conditions may apply. More>>

ALSO:

Water: New Marine Reserves On West Coast Opened

Five new marine reserves were officially opened by Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast of the South Island to protect a range of marine ecosystems for conservation, science and recreation. More>>

ALSO:

Perception: Study Looks At Trustworthiness And Support Of Politicians

A University of Canterbury marketing study has looked at what impact the Thatcher Effect has on perceptions of trustworthiness and liking of New Zealand politicians leading up to the 2014 general election. More>>

ALSO:

History Lessons: Jamie Whyte At ACT Campaign Opening

It is nearly 20 years since the ACT party was born. Many people no longer remember why it was named ACT. They may imagine that it was on account of our determination to actually do things in parliament rather than simply occupy the seats and collect the salaries. That’s true but it isn’t the right answer... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news