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

 

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>c

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Littoral: New Ship To Deliver Enhanced Naval Capability

    Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says the Government has approved a Ministry of Defence and New Zealand Defence Force recommendation to request tenders for a new naval ship to support littoral operations. More>>

    July:

    After King's Labour Snub: Māori Party And Kiingitanga To Work Together

    Māori Party Co-leaders Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox met with Kiingitanga representatives in Wellington yesterday to discuss working together on key issues for the betterment of Māori. More>>

    ALSO:

    Waitangi Claim On Rehabilitation: The 'Justus' System For Māori Not Good Enough

    Closing statements at the Waitangi Tribunal case against Corrections called for immediate steps and a comprehensive review to address the high rate of Māori reoffending. More>>

    ALSO:

    Advice: PM Sets Rules For Ministers' Treatment Of Public Servants

    Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally. More>>

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news