Dom Post on empty promises

The Dom Post editorial:

In Government, Labour presided over a 48 per cent increase in the average salaries of public service chief executives, pushing the earnings of more than a dozen past the prime minister’s salary of $393,000. In Opposition, Labour is calling for new state chief executives to be paid no more than the prime minister.

In government, it took nine years to increase the minimum wage by $5 a hour during an economic boom. In Opposition it wants the Government to increase it by $2.50 to $15 an hour in just 12 months, despite the fact unemployment is rising.

Do Labour’s strategists think voters are stupid? Or do they just think they have short memories? This is populist, lowest common denominator politics that will do Labour no good in the long run.

Spot on. Only a moron could actually think Labour is serious about either of those promises.

… the salaries of senior public servants should be determined by their responsibilities and performance, not by slogans. And scrutiny should occur on an ongoing basis, not just when Labour needs a headline. The benchmarks for most of the salaries Labour is complaining about were set when it was in office. It did little to constrain salary increases then and is in no position now to criticise a Government that has stopped further increases in the total amount paid to public service bosses.

To me it just shows that Labour is so desperate to get back into power, that they’ll say anything.

Similarly, there are reasons to constantly review the minimum wage, as Labour did when it was last in office. It provides vulnerable workers with a measure of protection from unscrupulous employers. But, if there is a time to dramatically increase the minimum wage, it is not when the world is tentatively emerging from the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Doing so would benefit some workers but cost others, in marginal enterprises, their jobs and deny yet others a chance to enter the workforce.

Can you imagine a worse time to increase the minimum wage by 20% over 12 months? I reckon deep down Phil Goff knows the policy is economic lunacy that would destroy jobs. So the only conclusion is that Labour wants more jobs destroyed, or they are calling for something they know is daft.

Its MPs did the right thing when they reconfirmed Mr Goff and Annette King as leader and deputy. They had few alternatives, and change for change’s sake would only have made the party look more desperate. But Labour will not make up lost ground until it reconnects with the voters it lost touch with in office. Promising things no party can deliver is not the way to do that.

What worries me is that they are talking about spending binges, while the crown accounts still have huge deficits and increasing debt.

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