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Chilling attitude from Workplace Relations Minister

Chilling attitude from Workplace Relations Minister

Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees Galloway’s gob-smacking high-handed attitude to small and medium sized Kiwi businesses on TVNZ’s Q&A this morning will do nothing to boost sagging business confidence or employment and wage growth, National’s Workplace Relations Spokesperson Scott Simpson says.

“Mr Lees Galloway’s dismissal of businesses struggling to pay big minimum wage increases as ‘not very resilient’ and having the ‘wrong business model’ will send a shiver down the spine of every business trying to get ahead from a small country in a competitive global world,” Mr Simpson says.

“It’s the height of arrogance to say that Kiwi businesses don’t know what they are doing if they struggle to cope with some of the highest minimum pay rates in the world. Mr Lees Galloway writes them off by saying businesses ‘come and go’.

“Mr Lees Galloway’s stated reasons for Labour’s employment law reforms on Q&A this morning are also factually incorrect.

“In his attempt to provide a smokescreen for the real reason for Labour’s employment reforms, he’s completely misdiagnosed the performance of our Labour market in recent years.

“Firstly New Zealanders’ weekly wages have been going up at twice the rate of inflation since 2008.

“Secondly, under existing law, our Labour market has performed far better for Kiwi workers than Australia’s has for their workers in recent years.

“We have consistently had a far higher rate of employment than Australia and a far higher rate of full-time employment.

“It’s the height of small brother syndrome to want to ape Australia’s employment laws when New Zealand’s have been performing better.

“The real reason for these reforms is a payoff for Labour’s union delegate friends for their support at election time. They are the only ones who benefit from these changes.

“The reforms will be bad for workers and bad for employers. If they go ahead the stats will sadly prove it.”

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