Jim Anderton has been a Labour MP in all but name for years.
However, the pretence that he’s leading a party has cost taxpayers because party leaders get extra funding.
Now he’s planning to stand as mayor of Christchurch which raises several questions..
Will he resign as an MP or will we be paying his salary while he campaigns?
If he’s successful will he resign as an MP or will we have to keep on paying him while the citizens of Christchurch also pay him?
If he’s not successful will he stand again as an MP?
Happy birthday Bob Seger – 65 today.
Labour’s bill to force employers to pay redundancy was defeated in parliament.
That is obviously a relief for employers but it’s also better for employees.
If individual businesses and their employees want to negotiate redundancy provisions they are free to do so but it shouldn’t be forced on all employers.
A former Labour MP told me he’d become very wary of redundancy payments after a business in his electorate collapsed.
It had expanded, taken on extra staff then lost some large orders.
Its medium to long term outlook was bright but it was having short term cash flow problems and its credit worthiness was undermined by the redundancy liability on its balance sheet. The requirement to cover redundancies if it failed was what caused it to fail.
I had a similar experience with a trust I chaired.
Most of our funding was from government contracts, when policy changed contracts reduced and so did our income. It was a not-for profit organisation and for a couple of years we set the budget, knowing we’d have to dip into reserves to cover the deficit.
By the third year reserves had fallen to little more than the amount we’d need for redundancy. We were forced to make everyone redundant, pay out and start again. Most of those who’d been made redundant were re-employed but their contracts were changed and no longer included redundancy provisions.
It’s better to pay workers fairly and let them make their own redundancy provisions than to pay them less in order to provide cover for redundancies which might not happen, or happen because the business has to cover redundancies.
Day six of New Zealand Music Month – the Topp Twins with Untouchable Girls.
We woke to our second frost in a row this morning.
We’d had reasonably warm weather after the last rain which was letting the grass grow.
But two frosts in a row is a warning that soil temperatures are dropping and with or without more rain we’re not likely to get much more pasture growth until spring.
Interest free student loans are interest free to the student but they come at considerable cost to taxpayers.
In spite of that the suggestion that students pay a $50 administration fee has already been met with howls of anguish from the usual suspects who think we don’t do enough.
“If we take into account student allowances and the student loans we lend to students to pay for fees and living costs, we spend a total of 42% of our total tertiary budget on student support,” says Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce.
In comparison, Australia spends about 31% of its tertiary budget that way and the OECD average is 19%.
Mr Joyce says a big reason is the way we handle our student loans.
“Taxpayers are currently writing off about 47 cents in every dollar that is advanced on a student loan. We remain committed to interest-free student loans but we are looking at a number of things at the margin that will promote equity and fairness between students and taxpayers.“They won’t change the world but they will give us more funds to do more in the tertiary sector. Final decisions will be detailed in the Budget later this month.”
Student leaders and others who complain about the government not helping students enough can’t realise that we’re spending more than twice the OECD average on student support.
Most students will be taxpayers, many already are. The more they get as students the greater the burden they’re faced with as taxpayers.
All of us would be better served if tertiary funding was rebalanced to provide more for improving the quality of education rather than the quantity of student support.
Requiring students who have loans to make a token payment towards the cost of them would be a good start.