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Thoughtless meddling increases vulnerability

Labour Issues Spokesperson

9 August 2011

Thoughtless meddling increases vulnerability

John Key must not use volatility in the global economy as an excuse for further attacks on workers who are already struggling, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Darien Fenton.

John Key yesterday told his post-Cabinet press conference that National was likely to introduce new labour market reform prior to the election, but remains tight-lipped about what such reform might entail.

“This is just another knee jerk reaction --- when in doubt, have a whack at those least able to speak up for themselves,” Darien Fenton said. “Reforms to the labour market in the name of economic prudence have been tried in the past and failed to lift New Zealand’s productivity and wages.

“Thoughtless meddling only makes New Zealand more vulnerable to losing skilled workers overseas, while the lowest paid at home find it difficult to pay the bills and feed their families.

“Instead of attacking workers Key should be developing a plan that focuses on growing the economy, promoting exports and creating jobs. Labour has got such a plan.

“The high kiwi dollar has already put Kiwi exporters under pressure. We need to ensure these companies are able to remain competitive without adverse effects on workers.

“What John Key doesn’t understand is that behind every great business is a great team of people. New Zealand needs to build a high skill, high wage, high value economy, not join the race to the bottom where workers’ pay and conditions are up for grabs.

“John Key’s only plan seems to be sell state assets and give huge tax cuts to the richest Kiwis, at the same time as introducing even tougher laws to hit workers. That’s not a plan. It’s a recipe for social disintegration,” Darien Fenton said.


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