Thursday, April 18, 2024

Government going backwards

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Employment law reform is one of the most talked about issues in New Zealand right now, as businesses across the country worry what might happen to them.

And sadly, they are right to worry. The Labour/Green/NZ First Government’s proposals will wind the clock back on industrial relations, strengthen union powers, and pit employers against their employees, none of which is conducive to doing business.

With plans to end the starting out wage, remove 90-day trials for businesses with more than 20 staff, implement consecutive unsustainable minimum wage rises, and bring back 70s-style standardised wage bargaining, it’s no wonder business confidence in New Zealand is at its lowest in 10 years.

And despite what the Government is trying to tell us, business confidence does matter. A lack of it means businesses are slower to grow and are less willing to employ or train new staff or lift wages for hard-working Kiwis.

Economists are now predicting our economic growth could drop to 1.5 per cent, when the world economy is forecast to grow by 3.9 per cent. Every lost 1 per cent of GDP means $800 million less in government revenue, which means less money to spend on the things that matter like schools, hospitals, and keeping our communities safe.

And employment law reform is only the half of it, as other anti-growth policies like higher taxes, restrictions on foreign investment, and ideological decisions like scrapping oil and gas exploration continue to damage our economy’s ability to grow.

Thanks in large part to National’s management of the economy, we saw Kiwi businesses succeed and grow with 10,000 new jobs created every month for the last two years. This Government is putting that all at risk and the only ones to come out n top will be their union-backers.

New Zealanders deserve better than a Government with no idea how to grow the economy.

  • Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga

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