And the winners are

February 23rd, 2010 at 12:27 pm by David Farrar
  1. Employment Relations (Workers’ Secret Ballot for Strikes) Amendment Bill –
  2. Smart Meters (Consumer Choice) Bill –
  3. (Mitigation of Youth ) Amendment Bill – Sir

Tau’s bill requires all votes on strike action to be secret ballots. In theory almost all do this anyway, but there has been some dispute on the West Coast recently about whether this does always happen, so it will be good to have it a legal, not a voluntary, requirement to prevent intimidation.

David Clendon’s bill is inherited from Jeanette and regulates the use of smart meters. Not sure of all the details, but it looks to be worth supporting at first reading anyway so a select committee can look into pros and cons.

Sir Roger’s bill will allow the Government to set a different level of minimum wage for younger workers. I welcome it as there is pretty clear evidence that the huge increase in youth unemployment is bext explained by the scrapping of the youth rate for the minimum wage. National will be nervous about being seen to be “cutting wages” but I hope they will support it to select committee, so arguments can be heard about the linkage.

Rather than cut the minimum wage for any current workers, what I would do if I was the Government is just use it to increase the youth minimum wage more slowly than the adult minimum wage.

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9 Responses to “And the winners are”

  1. Pete George (22,781 comments) says:

    Rather than cut the minimum wage for any current workers, what I would do if I was the Government is just use it to increase the youth minimum wage more slowly than the adult minimum wage.

    I know this sort of thing won’t satisfy the “fix everything, now!” brigade, but it is a practical way to extract us from bad policies. Hopefully it will have long enough to take effect before Labour get back in, so it can prove it’s worth (or not).

    WFF is another good example, suddenly cutting it would have a major adverse effect, but it should be phased out if the tax system is sorted out properly.

    And National Super will also have to have some sort of creeping reduction applied sooner or later.

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  2. goonix (140 comments) says:

    Excellent that SRD’s was drawn. ACT seem to have had a reasonable run recently on random ballots?

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  3. scrubone (3,044 comments) says:

    Seems like some bills that have good merit. Which almost makes me wonder why they aren’t chosen on that basis – except then I remember this is parliament, where dubious merit is standard policy.

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  4. frog (84 comments) says:

    FYI – David’s Bill doesn’t regulate smart meters, but it does give the Minister the ability to do so if the minimum guidelines are not met by the industry. It makes a couple of the many currently voluntary industry guidelines a requirement, and then makes sure that industry participants offer their customers the cool, money saving bells and whistles that smart meters can offer. No requirement to buy, but a requirement that the industry at least makes the offer. Right now they are slamming in dumb smart meters that only serve the needs of the retailer – the consumer doesn’t get a look in. We want to change that.

    As for SRD’s minimum wage bill – there is pretty clear evidence that having a decent minimum wage does NOT effect youth employment negatively, in fact encourages it. Read the peer reviewed economic literature rather than the pseudo-economic opinion makers.

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  5. Scott (1,703 comments) says:

    Totally agree with Pete George – for perhaps the 3rd time out of 3909 posts!

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  6. Friedman4Eva (3 comments) says:

    Is that right Frog?

    http://www.economics.uci.edu/docs/2006-07/Neumark-08.pdf

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  7. Tauhei Notts (1,604 comments) says:

    The full title is the;
    Minimum Wage (Mitigation of Youth Unemployment) Amendment Bill.
    The most important part is the part in brackets and the trendies in the news media will studiously avoid mentioning that part in brackets. Because they all know that to mention that part will bring kudos to the author of that bill and they hate his guts with a passion.

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  8. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    It is interesting that the minimum wage was brought up – last weekend I employed a young maori student to help with my house, and he was keen worker with a good work ethic; although he didn’t have a real skill set he was paid fairly. He was over the moon with two days work. I was talking to him and his mate on Monday and he asked if there would be any more work this coming last weekend. I had to tell him that due to money restraints there probably wouldn’t be, and his reply was “I’ll work for $50 per day”. As tempted as I was, I can’t bring myself to hire someone for $5 per hour, and his reply was “when you have nothing, $5 an hour is heaps”. Although I have a moral obligation to pay a decent wage (and $5 per hour really is taking advantage of someone), I also have a legal obligation to. I guess my incoherant rant is getting at the fact that there was a worker who was prepared to work for next to nothing and I couldn’t legally hire him, and also that people won’t necessarily exploit low income workers in the absence of a minimum wage.
    BTW I am pretty certain he will do well for himself, he has the right attitude towards work and earning a living.

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  9. Clint Heine (1,563 comments) says:

    Good to see ACT flying the flag for the centre right. I presume the Nats will be too scared to do likewise…

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