Greens wages policy

September 2nd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The policy is here. Some extracts:

As a first step to restore workplace fairness, the Green Party will increase the to $15 immediately, in December 2014. We will then raise it in $1 steps on April 1st each year, so that it reaches $16 on April 1 2015, $17 on April 1 2016, and $18 on April 1 2017.

They also want to abolish the starting off wage, so they want to make it illegal to hire a 16 year old for less than $18 an hour!

The minimum wage in NZ is very high compared to the median wage. It is set at 66%. This policy would see it go to close to 85% (less any increase in median wages by 2017). The Department of Labour estimates this policy would see 24,000 lose their jobs, and go onto welfare.

Treasury have said that the minimum wage in New Zealand is the highest in the OECD compared to the average wage (at 49%) and third highest compared to the median wage.

National has increased the minimum wage by 19% in six years. Combined with tax cuts, the after tax income of someone on the minimum wage has gone up 27%. Adjusted for inflation a minimum wage worker has had a real income boost of 11%.

There is no case for the massive increases in the minimum wage, proposed by the Greens. We already have almost the highest in the world compared to median and average wages.

The Green Party also supports the Movement, which has established that a typical family needs a wage of $18.80 to buy the
basics and participate in society. In order to lead by example, the Green Party will pay the Living Wage to all core public service staff,
and require all relevant Government contractors to pay a Living Wage when their contracts come up for renewal.

This will mean a de facto $18.40 minimum wage for most of NZ. There are very few companies that don’t have a government agency as a client. If you run a photocopier business, and supply services to a government agency, then you’ll have to pay the 16 year old intern $18.40 an hour!

As another major step towards a more stable and secure future for workers, we will implement recommendations from business, Government and unions for a statutory minimum redundancy payment for all staff equivalent to four weeks’ pay

And as part of this:

These changes will give workers more stability, and discourage unnecessary restructuring. In the case of large-scale redundancies, we will also fund union delegates to work with staff for 3-6 months to support them through the transition

This is the real policy – to have taxpayers fund unions.

We will also incorporate pay ratios into Government procurement policies.

So the Greens in Government will ban companies from gaining Government contracts, even if they are the cheapest and best provider, if they think their CEOs are paid too much!!!

The Green Party will work with the Union movement to see how the terms and conditions of unionised workers can be extended to others in their industries, whether through the Council of Trade Unions’ Extension Bargaining model or other policies

De facto compulsory unionism to return!! Joy. And hey by coincidence those unions are major donors to parties on the left.

To tackle the unacceptable face of precarious work, the Green Party will introduce laws banning zero-hours agreements, as part of greater
regulation of hours of work.

This is insane. This means a company would have to pay casual staff, even when there is no actual work to do.

Increasing the minimum wage will cost $1.1 billion over three years, owing to higher Government staffing costs, especially in the health
sector. However, that will be offset by increased tax revenue from wages of $1.9 billion over three years.

This is economic failure of the highest kind. They are counting the extra tax from higher wages, yet have ignored the fact companies paying those higher wages will have smaller profits and pay less tax. And low paid workers pay tax at around 15% and companies at 28% so here’s the actual cost of this policy:

  • $1.1 billion in higher government staff costs
  • Extra PAYE tax from higher wages -$1.9 billion
  • Less company tax from lower profits – $3.5 billion

So the actual fiscal impact of this policy would be $2.7 billion, not the claimed $800 million savings.

Now think about the economic incompetence of a party that doesn’t realise that profits fall if wages increase. And think about how massive that deficit will be if these people are making economic decisions in a Cabinet!

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84 Responses to “Greens wages policy”

  1. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  2. mandk (1,030 comments) says:

    If anyone is fed up with hearing manufactured stories about increasing income inequality, they might want to note the following from the MSD’s Household Income Report, July 2014. The report is by Bryan Perry, who is without peer in NZ in the field of measuring inequality.

    “In recent years there has been some volatility in household incomes in NZ, reflecting the ongoing impact of the GFC and Christchurch earthquakes, and the subsequent recovery. There is no evidence of any sustained rising or falling trend in the Gini since the mid 1990s.”

    (the Gini coefficient is a measure of income or wealth inequalities).

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  3. kowtow (8,938 comments) says:

    ‘Fairness” or equality,whatever you like to call it.It’s all far left bullshit. Same with all this marriage “equality”, gender equality etc.

    All commie bollocks.

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  4. Sponge (264 comments) says:

    The first response of any responsible business employer facing an increase in the minimum wage will be to implement measures to improve productivity

    A stupid argument Toad. Do you not think companies are always trying to increase profitability? What is more if it was so simple to increase profitability any sane company will have already done so.

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  5. alloytoo (582 comments) says:

    This is also an extremely inflationary policy.

    It will immediately result in a round of wage push price inflation for most businesses. The lowest paid workers will then find themselves no better off than they were before, the more affluent will be dealing with the higher interest rates sucking up their disposable income.

    This is a shortcut to poverty for everyone.

    The only way to increase your income is to become more productive (though either working harder, or improving your skill set)

    The greatest benefit to those people happens in a low inflationary environment, where the benefits of increased productivity become more readily apparent and are less likely to be muted by inflation.

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  6. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    There is no case for the massive increases in the minimum wage

    Hmm, I don’t know about that. I’d like to see the Filipino nurses who look after my mother (who is suffering the late stages of Alzheimers) be paid $18 an hour. They deserve it.

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  7. wiseowl (975 comments) says:

    This topic has been discussed before.
    Politicians of all hues and worldwide have been sucked in by this ‘fairness’ crap.
    There should be no minimum wage.Simple.

    What has happened is that we have seen those on huge salaries being able to argue how good they are and why they need pay increases and the likes of the higher salaries commission awarding central and local government politicians annual increase while those that earn the bloody money,the exporters, are screwed more and more every year.

    Apart from the dairy industry most New Zealand small businesses are struggling and where the hell the Greens and the like think they can get extra money from beats me.

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  8. Nookin (3,562 comments) says:

    “The first response of any responsible business employer facing an increase in the minimum wage will be to implement measures to improve productivity, not to passively accept reduced profit.”
    And they won’t be doing that by hiring 16 year olds at $18.40 per hour.

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  9. cas (40 comments) says:

    So in the kiwifruit industry, the packhouses will have to pay higher wages and with the zero hours arrangement, labour in the orchards will have to be paid if it rains or there is a late start waiting for fruit to dry.

    i can see a lot fewer workers

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  10. mandk (1,030 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris,
    If the nurses are registered, they will be earning $25+ p.h.
    If they are enrolled nurses, they will be earning $19+ p.h.

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  11. Distilled essence of NZ (85 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  12. Allyson (47 comments) says:

    Our Government should be greatly encouraged to receive such a glowing endorsement of their economic management by the Green Party. The Greens must be behelt in admiration that our economies’ businesses could withstand such additional charges. So well done Bill English and John Key for getting us to this position.
    As for sustainability of an improving economy with these increased costs . . .well?

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  13. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    Hmm, I don’t know about that. I’d like to see the Filipino nurses who look after my mother (who is suffering the late stages of Alzheimers) be paid $18 an hour. They deserve it.

    So just pay them that. Or are you expecting other people to pay that so you don’t need to – even if you think that’s what they should be paid ?

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  14. mandk (1,030 comments) says:

    Distilled essence of NZ: “there s little evidence to support the conclusion that moderate increases in the minimum wage cause massive job losses”

    But we’re not talking about moderate increases, are we? We’re talking about an increase of around 40%.

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  15. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    One day there will be an environmental party who has environmental issues as their main focus rather than destructive socialist economic policy that has failed every time it’s ever been tried. They will do well in an election.

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  16. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Scott Chris typifies the standard lefty mindset…. These people should be paid more – but not by me !

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  17. markm (117 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    Your guilt at not being able or willing to support your mother is not a reasoned argument for saddling the whole economy with an unsustainable burden

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  18. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    The first response of any responsible business employer facing an increase in the minimum wage will be to implement measures to improve productivity, not to passively accept reduced profit.

    Jesus H Christ on a fucking bicycle, you are pretty fucking stupid toad if you cannot see the major flaw in that statement.

    The best way to improve productivity is through automation. As many of these minimum wage employees work in jobs that could be automated, all you have to do is change the incentive for the company, being Total Cost of Ownership, and you have a bunch of employees out on their ear.

    I guess that is why at the same time is bringing in this lunacy you’re making changes to redundancy payment laws.

    Economic brilliance at its utmost.

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  19. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    Scott Chris, That is why you should be allowed to import your own nurses and pay them $18 (or more) per hour.

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  20. cas (40 comments) says:

    And I forgot about the unionised work forces where none exist at present!!!!!!How productive we are going to be.

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  21. simpleton1 (243 comments) says:

    Be ware, automation will be taxed in hidden ways.

    They are running around the end to block automation.

    As I recall ghost wages being paid to the “union social funds” for reducing the number of workers on a chain, always negotiable, lay off 4 workers and pay 3 ghost wages then you can install that gadget/auto/robot.

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  22. Peter (1,694 comments) says:

    Is Toad one of the geniuses behind this policy?

    Here’s what will happen, Toad. Profitability will be maintained by firing staff and shifting the workload to performing staff. Some work will become uneconomic, and this work won’t be done. There will be more automation. Your dole queues will grow longer.

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  23. virtualmark (1,306 comments) says:

    Toad, a simple example, and a question …

    Down at my local New World supermarket there’s about 25 manual checkouts, and about 8 new automated self-service checkout machines. I’m going to assume that the staff on the manual checkouts are paid minimum wage. There’s no advanced skills involved, and the employer is surely very cost conscious

    Imagine then … the Greens get in and implement this minimum wage policy. The cost of the labour on the manual checkouts rises by $1/hour each year. Meanwhile, the sophistication of the automated checkouts improves every year, and I’ll reasonably assume the cost of the automated checkouts doesn’t change.

    New World is in a very competitive industry, where no participants can afford to raise prices without shedding market share.

    Qu: 12 months after the Green’s minimum wage policy kicks in how many manual checkouts do you think there will be? And how many automated checkouts?

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  24. wiseowl (975 comments) says:

    Distilled @1.25
    The ‘employers simply put up the price of the product.’
    This is just complete BS. Bigtime.

    Employers simply cannot in most cases just ‘put up the price of a product’
    If they could, and they can’t. but if they could the cost would be passed on .The effect would be to nullify any wage increase.
    Ask yourself ‘where does money come from?’

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  25. artemisia (268 comments) says:

    Our small business has two zero hour employees. We work hard to build a work pipeline for them. They work 2 to 4 days a week and are well paid for the hours they work. One came off the dole and earns more than the dole in 2 days even after paying ACC.

    If we have to pay them for 40 hours a week regardless … well guess what … they will both be on the dole.

    ETA – they have different skill sets and different roles so not possible to combine into one role.

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  26. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    A few years ago now we had this debate about the wages paid to workers in Subway.

    I suggested to one of the people claiming the employees should be paid more that they can tip the workers as much as they want.. But of course the prospect of paying $1.50-$3.00 more for their lunch wasn’t acceptable. The food should cost the same ( or less ) while the workers earn more. Yep … that’s lefties – always wanting other peoples money. It’s not good enough to pay people more by actually paying more for their goods and services – it’s always about the nasty profit thing being too high. But of course when all workers get laid off and the employer shuts the door and puts their capital in a bank – that should be illegal.

    Sadly though – people who’ve never noticed that socialist policy always fails continue to vote for this BS.

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  27. infused (583 comments) says:

    Retarded as it comes.

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  28. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    The sum of these policies will make it harder and harder to justify hiring employees because the cost to do so (and the cost of getting it wrong) will go up and up. At the same time, existing employees will become entrenched. It’s not like these policies haven’t been tried in France, Japan, Greece etc.

    Fundamentally a minimum wage law is a law against hiring. It prohibits a willing employer hiring a willing worker if they can’t meet the government’s (arbitrary) terms.

    In an export dependent economy, such measures will inevitably result in the devaluation of the currency (to make us “more competitive”) and a reduction in standards of living. But the Greens don’t care; they’ll dress it all up as compassion for the poor.

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  29. infused (583 comments) says:

    You also forgot the bit about employees knowing what each other is paid.

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  30. Drone (21 comments) says:

    This is a circular conversation that both the left and right lay claim to, for years we have heard the same bleat from the right, that we need to increase productivity to be able to pay better wages, but how do we actually increase productivity – we produce the same amount of product (widgets, services, power) with less people. Or we produce more “things” with the same amount of people. Changes in technology and globalisation mean that we don’t need as many people to produce the same amount of “things” so we have permanent structural unemployment, which we will never get rid of and with a relatively static population on lowish wages people don’t actually need and often can’t afford to purchase more “things”. Companies have slimmed down perhaps not to the bare minimum but fairly close and in the case of the electricity companies they are making supernormal profits while at the same time many ordinary New Zealanders are struggling to pay their energy bills. I don’t think there is an easy answer, I can see where the Greens are coming from and I think full nationalisation of the electricity companies has some merit. But is there a political party that has the cojones to actually make a change, no they are all tarred with the same brush and are seeking to feather their own nests and maintain the status quo.

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  31. David Farrar (1,437 comments) says:

    Toad: You realise increase productivity could mean make lots of staff redundant?

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  32. Gulag1917 (1,083 comments) says:

    Green political policies – sounds as if none of them have been self employed. Going to be a lot of unemployed 16 year olds.

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  33. mister nui (1,030 comments) says:

    All this policy will do is offshore jobs. I’ll just hire contractors in an offshore domicile – who I have no tax obligations to, all I do is pay their invoice. They will be responsible for their own tax affairs in their domicile.

    Why does the left always create these disincentives to employment, when they think they’re helping people? Is it the lck of actual real-world commercial experience that makes them come up with all these brainless ideas? They then base their argument on “academic papers” of which the authors usually have even less commercial experience and are typically written to suit an agenda.

    Toad, can you give me a brief bio of your commercial business experience, please. No identifying factors, just a simple run down of x years working for y company type. Happy to give you mine in exchange.

    As someone once said, a nice idea is not always a good idea…

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  34. Ed Snack (1,940 comments) says:

    I don’t think we can insult Toad enough; it takes a monumental degree of chutzpah to make a comment like that and somehow imagine that this profit maximization doesn’t somehow focus on reducing the cause of the increased costs, labour.

    The real sting is in the other parts of the policy, like de-facto compulsory unionism (cronyism writ very large), tax-payer funded union functionaries (you just KNOW it’s good for you, because we say so), restrictions on employers by way of compulsory redundancy, minimum hours, the whole panapoly of regulations and rules; rule by an elite who really know better than the sheeple what is good for us (meaning good for them and bad for us).

    And that calculation, a saving by raising wages; Toad, if that policy can save money, the same calculation “Proves” that raising the minimum wage to $100 saves many, many, billions and in fact solves the whole deficit problem in one stroke; why are you advocating that, we could all be RICH !

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  35. hmmokrightitis (1,596 comments) says:

    virtualmarks example is a cracker, and I was having just this conversation this morning over breakfast in a cafe in town.

    The owner is a good friend. She pays above minimum for all her staff, even the table staff who shift food, drinks and plates. Another place up the road, does cabinet food, coffee’s and sandwiches. They pay minimum. You increase minimum wage by 40% and businesses like this will hit the wall real fast.

    They cant shift their model, they are not and cannot gear for this kind of cost shift, they are already highly productive and they know that their staff are of two kinds – on their way up and looking for experience, or dragging their arses because thats what they do. Either way, if youre on minimum wage for more than 12 months, that is not the employers issue.

    Yet again, the socialists give money that isnt theirs away. Combine this with removing 90 days, you will see the economy collapse. So, tell me frog, what should these business’s do?

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  36. Bill Ted (93 comments) says:

    Got to love how DPF pens a post destroying the Green’s economic credentials and then Toad turns up to prove his point. Have to ask, Toad, are you a VRWC plant posing as a green member?

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  37. NK (1,259 comments) says:

    DPF – you missed the best policy announcement: They would legislate to make it illegal for a CEO to get a wage increase unless all staff got the same increase.

    Now, forgetting for a minute whether that law is workable, imagine this: No pay increase of $100,000 for CEO so the 40% top tax rate imposed by the Greens that would have collected 40,000 (all things being equal) won’t be collected. And the Greens base their numbers on greater tax revenue!
    They’re completely stupid.

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  38. RightNow (7,014 comments) says:

    I had a dream, of a land where everything was fair and everyone was equal and the waterways were sparkling clean and no fossil fuels were burned, and everyone who wanted a job got their dream job, and everyone was paid the same regardless of how much work, or what work they did.

    Of course everyone died because they had no electricity, nobody wanted to work in food production and the doctors wouldn’t work for $18/hour.

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  39. simpleton1 (243 comments) says:

    Great fisk DPF and the middle paragraph Ed Snack.

    Once that embeds in with Unionism/Governmentalism,
    hullo Mr Muldoon. ‘Most people wouldn’t recognise a deficit if they fell over one.’,
    then the volcano of publishing $ will erupt, as the income taxes, + capital gains taxes (effectively on inflation), to cover the increasing deficit.

    Motivation to work, to get ahead will cease as the government will supply everything, as the taxes will suffice to cover your personal deficit, aye

    Yes right now when do I wake up

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  40. Keeping Stock (9,380 comments) says:

    Toad said

    The first response of any responsible business employer facing an increase in the minimum wage will be to implement measures to improve productivity, not to passively accept reduced profit.

    Quite right Toad. Employers will make a percentage of their staff redundant, and try to improve productivity by having fewer staff do more work. Who wins there?

    I’ve done the sums; if the minimum wage goes up to $16.50 in April next year, the annual increase in salaries for my businesses will be around $90,000, because we will have to increase EVERYONE’S wages, even though we do not employ ANYONE on the minimum wage. Given there’s not a spare $90,000 per annum in the balance sheets, we will have to seriously consider not replacing staff who leave, and in the worst case, encouraging others to find new careers.

    And that’s just on Labour’s minimum wage proposal; a minimum wage of $18 per hour by April 2017 as proposed by the Greens is likely to cost my business something in the region of an additional quarter of a million dollars over two years. Selling up won’t be an option, because the business we’ve built up from nothing will take a hammering with your proposed capital gains tax, even though it’s been OUR hard work, worry, risk and initiative that has grown the business.

    Thanks very bloody much Green Party. Sorry, but you won’t be getting my vote.

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  41. Dave_1924 (121 comments) says:

    So

    – No jobs for youth or the inexperienced as you can’t pay them a starters wage. Just hired adults who want to work for the minimum

    – Don’t hire when people leave. Just work your remaining employees harder and longer to make up the gap in labour input hours

    – Excellent for semi-retired as there will heaps of work for those who can fill the traditional youth/starters roles. If you have to pay a higher minimum wage, for basic roles – you might as well hire experience if you need the FTE employee

    – Automation will be ratcheted up as mention above numerous times. That will hit the current youth worker and the part timer like a stay at home parent wanting 9 to 3 hours and taking supermarket etc work

    And the no zero hour contract work. Well that will force the use of individual contractors on things like dollars per tonne basis I expect and other contractual vehicles to get around employing people directly on work for pay style arrangements which will be changed to pay for 40 get what ever hours the weather allows

    So all in all lots of warts.

    Why do Lefties focus on inequality? I earnt squat when I started as a clerk in the early 80’s, now I earn damn well – but I have a lot of years on the experience clock and a big investment in my skills and education as well. People move through cycles in their earning potential, legislating to make us all earn the same is a disincentive to learn and grow your skills.

    Why don’t the GReens come out and just say it. they want no private enterprise, they want to nationalise everything and set wages by fiat from a central committee. Go on just admit you want the failed Soviet style economic model

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  42. KiwiGreg (3,278 comments) says:

    @keeping stock – with the new redundancy rules you wont be able to afford to fire anyone. And you better be nice to them because the employee works council will be making all your decisions for you soon enough.

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  43. Sb (63 comments) says:

    >And you better be nice to them because the employee works council will be making all your decisions for you soon enough

    I think you mean

    Soviet works council will be making all your decisions for you soon enough

    Don’t you?

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  44. IGM (617 comments) says:

    With this policy the Greens won’t have anyone staying in business to implement a ridiculous policy such as this. If I go back into business, I will not have any union members, or anything even smelling of a unionist on my payroll. This is a Communist ploy being tossed around by Norman . . . probably on the orders of his Stalinist parents.

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  45. Keeping Stock (9,380 comments) says:

    @ KiwiGreg – thanks for that ;-)

    So we’re screwed either way then…

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  46. kiwicambo (7 comments) says:

    Why not increase the minimum wage to $50 an hour, then workers won’t have to worry about working their way to a better, more fulfilling career.
    Or perhaps in employment contracts now, employees can just fill in the weekly wage they require as a living wage.
    But if employers are being forced to pay a minimum wage, perhaps they should be allowed to choose what the wage is spent on…
    The Greens are like fecking children. I want I want.

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  47. Tarquin North (400 comments) says:

    If this comes in my company will be in deep strife. I would dearly love to pay my staff more but we just don’t have the money. No, I can’t just put the price up. The Chinese and Indians will annihilate me if I try that, they’ve already taken plenty of my customers now. The only good news is the benefit will be better under the Greens. Have these people ever run a company? Have they ever even worked? It must be so nice living in an ivory tower thinking you know better than the rest of us. Please don’t vote for these sanctamonious scumbags, they will destroy so much if they get in.

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  48. Rightandleft (691 comments) says:

    I agree with nearly everything DPF says here. The left seems unable to comprehend the simple fact that the gini coefficient has not suddenly grown much worse under National, that inequality is much less of a problem here than many developed nations and we already have one of the highest minimum wages in the world. It’s also no surprise that Greens policy is looney and shows a lack of understanding of economics.

    However I disagree about the idea they’re doing this to fund the unions so they can in turn donate more money to the left parties. I don’t believe that anymore than when the left claims National just gives tax breaks to the wealthy and businesses so they can donate more money to the Nats. We shouldn’t fall into the trap of doubting the legitimate beliefs of our opponents. I disagree bitterly with the Greens but I don’t doubt they sincerely believe their way is best for the nation.

    I don’t like it when the left writes off anyone who votes National as a terrible person who wants to screw over the poor and just keep more money for themselves. And I dislike it just as much when those on the right assume the whole left is filled with corrupt union hacks and bludgers only interested in filling their pockets with government money. Sure there are examples of such people on both sides of the political divide but I still believe they are the exception not the rule. Most people, left or right, think they’re policies will help the most people.

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  49. Dany (7 comments) says:

    Excellent policy, I am looking forward to massive increase in automation! :-)
    The beginning of the end for unions, love it!

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  50. simpleton1 (243 comments) says:

    ah ah dany,,, I am sure the unions of old will insist that a “ghost wage %” to be paid to their “educational social fund”, for every staff member laid off.
    Will really fit into green environment policy of returning to the sustainable middle ages

    Now I’m a union man
    Amazed at what I am
    I say what I think, that the company stinks
    Yes I’m a union man

    When we meet in the local hall
    I’ll be voting with them all
    With a hell of a shout, it’s “Out brothers, out!”
    And the rise of the factory’s fall

    Oh, you don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    Until the day I die, until the day I die

    As a union man I’m wise
    To the lies of the company spies
    And I don’t get fooled by the factory rules
    ‘Cause I always read between the lines

    And I always get my way
    If I strike for higher pay
    When I show my card to the Scotland Yard
    And this is what I say

    Oh, oh, you don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    Until the day I die, until the day I die

    Before the union did appear
    My life was half as clear
    Now I’ve got the power to the working hour
    And every other day of the year

    So though I’m a working man
    I can ruin the government’s plan
    And though I’m not hard, the sight of my card
    Makes me some kind of superman

    Oh, oh, oh, you don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    Until the day I die, until the day I die

    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    You don’t get me, I’m part of the union
    Until the day I die, until the day I die

    Songwriters
    Richard Hudson;John Ford

    Published by
    ARNAKATA MUSIC LTD.

    as I recall those halcyon days of the 60’s thru to the early 80’s,,, though I worked over seas sometimes and could see that NZ could not continue like that.

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  51. simpleton1 (243 comments) says:

    The key for me was to make the money and save, get things paid off, consolidate, when the sun shined then,,, as it proved in the 1980’s and 90’s, the hang over years, particularly hard for some families with the changes.
    Opportunities were still there as thru that time, just more difficult times, as changes had to be made that had been bottled up in the NZ economy.
    Change is always inevitable and history will repeat, as people forget.
    Just figure there will still be opportunities either way, or will they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, from work, savings, and thrift.
    NO I am not a union man, as I saw thru the intimidation applied and broken promises, that wrecked NZ then

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  52. Stephen Berry (6 comments) says:

    My favourite Green party policy is the $2000 income tax free threshold. That will reduce everyone’s tax by $4.

    A cheese burger a week!

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  53. wat dabney (3,840 comments) says:

    The Greens throw young and unskilled workers under the bus in their pursuit of power.

    Not that fascists have ever been known for their morals.

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  54. UrbanNeocolonialist (313 comments) says:

    DPF; you forgot to add the extra cost of all the 24000 extra people on the dole, so call it an even $3billion per year total cost (though the long term financial cost to society of having large numbers of young people on dole and not developing skills is much higher than just the dole costs).

    At the end of the day Green policies can be as stupid as they like, it is pretty irrelevant to the election, National and Greens are not fighting over the same voters. It is Labour and National and a couple of tiny parties that are fighting over the middle ground.

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  55. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    I don’t get what this has to do with the environment?

    Greens should stick to their knitting, dubious as that is.

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  56. wat dabney (3,840 comments) says:

    I don’t get what this has to do with the environment?

    Your mistake is to assume that the Greens are an environmental party.

    They are not. They are a fascist party using environmentalism as a fig-leaf.

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  57. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    Toad have you ever been part of an actual business? Profit is only one consideration.

    What matters more then profit on hiring models is MARGINand confidence. Right now in WA mining companies are making record profits due to massive increases in production, but at much reduced margins. What’s the result? Literally thousands of job losses in Rio Tinto, BHPB, Atlas Iron, Forge, Ausdrill, Oz Minerals, Leighton’s Holdings, Mount Gibson Iron, you name the company.

    What decreases margins? Increased overheads. What is an overhead? A 16 year old employee on $18.40 an hour. What reduces confidence? Daft economic policies.

    Right now CEO’s, General Managers, HR’s and SME owners in existing businesses all across New Zealand will be running the numbers on how they will be reducing procurement, reducing head counts, and merging positions across their departments in anticipation of your bad policy.

    Similarly, people in or contemplating start-ups will be factoring in these massively increased overheads on their opex and human capex and they’ll be thinking, nope can’t do it any-more, due to your bad policy.

    The way you foster the productive part of the economy is by doing what Bill English has been doing for the past 6 years, which is a relentless focus on marginal benefit for businesses – how do you assist a business or individual to spend 1 more dollar on increasing productivity or hiring another person.

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  58. wat dabney (3,840 comments) says:

    UpandComer,

    I think it’s sweet that you would try to use logic and economic reasoning with Toad.

    They don’t give a fuck.

    They are cynically consigning the young and unskilled to a lifetime of unemployment, because they know it plays well with the MSM.

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  59. UpandComer (537 comments) says:

    And Toad, profits do fall if wages increase, because the most basic definition of profit is that it is the difference between costs and revenue. What you mean is that revenues won’t necessarily be affected, although this is questionable. But guess what, the costs will. It’s such a terrifically bad policy with such terrifically bad reasoning behind it. The Greens think that they should design an economy and direct all their rhetoric at punishing Graeme Hart and the Chandler’s brothers, so just scorch the hell out of everyone else trying to make a living without any regard.

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  60. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    Okay, put it this way. Why don’t employers get of their fat lazy arses and make their employees worth at least $18 per hour.

    (warning: may contain traces of irony)

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  61. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Scott Chris

    Have you dug deep into your own wallet to pay the nurses who care for your mother what they are worth or are you planning to vote for a political party to trash the economy sinking other peoples money into one of your own personal responsibilities ?

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  62. itstricky (2,021 comments) says:

    The minimum wage in NZ is very high compared to the median wage. It is set at 66%. This policy would see it go to close to 85% (less any increase in median wages by 2017).

    One could of course also work to increase the median wage and then the proposed minimum wage wouldn’t be such a high proportion of it. Bit of a nonsensical argument really, seeing as all political parties (Greens included) should be vouching for increasing the median wage as well through the promotion of higher skilled jobs and wages for all.

    Just what is the median wage DPF, out of interest?

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  63. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    Why don’t employers get of their fat lazy arses and make their employees worth at least $18 per hour.

    By firing a fifth of them and making the others work harder?

    By changing the job so that the people who were hireable at $15 become unfit for the new role?

    By investing in the human capital of their employees such that they become worth $18 to them, but not so much that they become worth more to someone else and you watch your investment walk out the door?

    Or by simply paying them more because its as easy as that?

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  64. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    burt – I’m voting National.

    Doesn’t mean I can’t support the idea of evening out the playing field.

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  65. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    You can’t determine the level-ness of the playing field just by looking at the score.

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  66. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    @toad 1.08pm “The first response of any responsible business employer facing an increase in the minimum wage will be to implement measures to improve productivity, not to passively accept reduced profit”.

    Toad it is hard to disagree with that statement except that my clients are going to continue to pay the lowest price they can for the services I provide and in a competitive environment whist increasing prices would be a nice thought I can tell you if I could do that I would have done it already.

    I will have two choices in terms of staff productivity. To charge more to my clients or layoff staff. One of those options I can control the other I cannot so you don’t have to be Einstein to work out what is going to happen to employment rates with this greens policy.

    Also they are going to impose a contingent liability on my business for redundancy for every staff member of 1 months salary. That simply means I have less working capital with which to create more employment opportunities. This policy just keeps getting better and better.

    On a positive note it is great to get some lunatic greens economic policy statement to get the media refocused on policy, not scandal.

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  67. RF (1,488 comments) says:

    I see the communist party in drag a.k.a the Water Melon party are making promises that cannot be kept as they will never hold the purse strings. Why not make the minimum wage $100.00 per hour you dreamers.

    Always a bridesmaid. That must really hurt.

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  68. Scott Chris (6,178 comments) says:

    kimble I don’t really support jacking up the minimum wage legislatively. I know that won’t work economically. But I’d like to see less inequality of social outcome and I suggest that the smart cookies in society are in the best position to figure out how to achieve that aim – assuming they’re not too busy trying to sell some shit to somebody.

    That was my point.

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  69. big bruv (14,217 comments) says:

    A typical hit and run comment from Toad. The Greens never stay around to debate their policies.

    One of the many concerns surrounding the stinking Greens is their impatience. They believe they have been denied the reigns of power for far too long. Given they feel that way they are not about to spend any time debating issues with the public. These are people who genuinely believe they know far better than you how to run your life.

    So, expect compulsory unionism if the stinking Greens are part of the next government, expect higher taxes, expect more of your money to be handed out to parasites and losers, expect less freedom.

    However, by far the biggest liberty you will lose is the ability to speak your mind. The Greens will outlaw free speech for all but minorities. Attacking the Government will also become illegal.

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  70. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    Toad it is hard to disagree with that statement except that my clients are going to continue to pay the lowest price they can for the services I provide and in a competitive environment whist increasing prices would be a nice thought I can tell you if I could do that I would have done it already.

    Are the industries that hire minimum wage and low wage people price setters or price takers for their own products?

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  71. Kimble (3,955 comments) says:

    I suggest that the smart cookies in society are in the best position to figure out how to achieve that aim – assuming they’re not too busy trying to sell some shit to somebody.

    Why would you think that people who are skilled at selling some shit to somebody are best placed to sustainably increase NZ wage levels?

    I see that a lot around here; such and such businessman should be elected to parliament. Why? The biggest threat to capitalism is the exploitation of government by capitalists.

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  72. scrubone (3,097 comments) says:

    They are cynically consigning the young and unskilled to a lifetime of unemployment, because they know it plays well with the MSM.

    That’s a logical conclusion – but then the problem is that these people aren’t about logic, they’re about wishful thinking. They think that if they apply enough pressure, everything will push itself into the shape they wish it to be.

    Of course, what’ll really happen that if they apply enough pressure, people will just give up.

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  73. Mark (1,502 comments) says:

    Are the industries that hire minimum wage and low wage people price setters or price takers for their own products?

    Do you think this policy is only going to impact businesses that pay minimum wage?

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  74. Fisiani (1,052 comments) says:

    Great post David.
    Most people who lean towards the Greens just think they are a party that really cares about the environment. They have no idea of the economic illiteracy of the Greens. 24,000 jobs lost is a heavy price to pay for caring about some plants. Add in their scrapping of the 90 day right to prove yourself law and that’s another 15,000 jobs lost. Scrapping starting out wages condemns 10,000 youngsters. Scrapping the West Coast loggers , drivers , millers and furniture makers in favour of snails and worms adds another 1,000. Closing the Taranaki oilfields which have never killed a single dolphin costs another 20,000 jobs offshore and onshore. Mining for gas , oil, minerals costs another 10,000. Banning irrigation and further dairy farms loses 8,000 jobs. My list of their job loss plans is not exhaustive but it is accurate. 73,000 New Zealanders would be unemployed. Warn people. Vote Green and put your neighbour on the dole.

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  75. burt (7,425 comments) says:

    Fisiani

    The Green’s through their economic policy quickly reveal hat like Labour they are sick puppets to the unions. Shame about that keeping them out of parliament because they don’t get to implement any environmental policies.

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  76. Southern Raider (1,777 comments) says:

    Didn’t McDonalds in a US city just build the first automated restaurant because the unions tried to fuck them over with $100K of increased wage costs and it was only about the same to invest per annum in robots/automated checkouts?

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  77. OneTrack (3,362 comments) says:

    toad – “The first response of any responsible business employer facing an increase in the minimum wage will be to implement measures to improve productivity, not to passively accept reduced profit.”

    Somebody has probably already said it, but it is obvious the Greens economic incompetence needs to be shouted out loudly.

    Yes, they will implement measures to increase productivity. Such as, reducing staff, increasing automation, moving manufacturing offshore, moving the entire company offshore,……..

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  78. Sponge (264 comments) says:

    Southern Raider – It may have been France. I was there last year and to be honest the machine improves the accuracy and speed of the service immensely (nothing to do with language). If they brought the self service machines in here I would not be sad. I would be absolutely ecstatic of they brought in the “McCroucqueMonsuier” too.

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  79. OneTrack (3,362 comments) says:

    cas – “And I forgot about the unionised work forces where none exist at present!!!!!!How productive we are going to be.”

    The tea isn’t hot. That’s it boys, everybody out. We are on strike.

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  80. OneTrack (3,362 comments) says:

    “So the Greens in Government will ban companies from gaining Government contracts, even if they are the cheapest and best provider, if they think their CEOs are paid too much!!!”

    Well I think the CEO of BMW etc. must be paid too much, so will we see the government limos sold and replaced by Trabants?

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  81. OneTrack (3,362 comments) says:

    Tarquin – “The only good news is the benefit will be better under the Greens. Have these people ever run a company? Have they ever even worked?”

    No and No. But they have a manual describing how it should be done. Written by a guy called , umm, Mark or Max or something.

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  82. OneTrack (3,362 comments) says:

    Urban – “It is Labour and National and a couple of tiny parties that are fighting over the middle ground.”

    Tell us more about these centrist Labour policies of which you speak. Or are you thinking of old Labour, under Clark. Labour 2014 have purged all the centrist heretics. Labour gave up the centre when they elected Cunliffe and constructively dismissed Jones.

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  83. OneTrack (3,362 comments) says:

    fisiani – “Warn people. Vote Green and put your neighbour on the dole.”

    Vote Green and put yourself on the dole. The only safe jobs will be working for the government.

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  84. UrbanNeocolonialist (313 comments) says:

    Onetrack: I don’t disagree, “middle ground” was poorly chosen, lets try “swing voter” instead. Greens aren’t fighting for swing voters they are snacking on labour’s left wing voters.

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