The trans-Tasman tide appears to be turning as businesses choose to move from Australia to New Zealand.
That should be cause for celebration, but not for opposition MPs:
. . . the Labour Party turned up its nose at every kind of new job available, from cigarette-roller to croupier to call centre operator, egged on by most other political parties.
So we’re back to wanting the nanny state, now, are we? What a luxury to feel the country is able to pass up gainful employment in legal industries. . .
These are the same MPs who have complained about losing New Zealand jobs to Asia but they can’t have it both ways:
There are complaints that firms are moving over here because we have lower wages than in Australia, and that is causing anger and concern for people that enjoy complaining.
However, these same people are also complaining that the strong NZ dollar against a number of countries (primarily China and the US) is leading us to loss jobs by making labour less competitive – in other words, by making New Zealand labour relatively more expensive, in other words by pushing up peoples real wages.
I wonder what the people doing the jobs think of the MPs’ criticism of their gainful employement?
No jobs are bad jobs and working for a low wage doesn’t have to be a life sentence. Some people might not have the ability and/or will to earn more but low-skilled work still has to be done and many who start in low-paid positions can work their way up to better ones.
Finance Minister Bill English rightly says that the increasing number of Australian companies investing and creating jobs in New Zealand is good for the economy and will help increase incomes:
“For the first time in quite a few years, Australian businesses are seeing competitive opportunities in New Zealand,” he says. “This reflects a number of issues, ranging from the exchange rate, lower business costs, an improving regulatory environment and the positive direction of economic policy.
“That was conveyed to the New Zealand team of ministers and officials at the Australian New Zealand Leadership Forum in Sydney last week, where business leaders said they were encouraged by New Zealand’s economic policy direction.”
Over the past three years, the Government has implemented a wide-ranging economic programme to make New Zealand more competitive.
- The Budget 2010 tax package which increased taxes on consumption and property speculation, and reduced taxes on work, companies and saving.
- Improvements to regulation – for example resource management laws, building laws and industrial relations laws.
- The Government’s multi-billion dollar infrastructure programme, in rail, roads, electricity transmission and ultra-fast broadband, to make the economy more productive.
- A focus on changing the incentives around welfare and work.
- Reducing government-imposed costs on business – for example, ACC levies on employers and the self-employed will fall by 22 per cent this year, reducing total costs to business each year by about $250 million.
“This is a long-term programme that will continue over the next few years to improve New Zealand’s competitiveness,” Mr English says.
“We need to encourage companies to invest, and create jobs, including from countries like Australia. This investment needs to come from businesses because the Government simply cannot afford to borrow and spend at the rate of the past decade.
“When capital is invested and management skills improve, New Zealand companies can sell their products for higher prices in overseas markets. It’s a recipe for higher wages, more exports and a faster-growing Kiwi economy.
We’d all be better off if our economy supported higher wages, and we’re more likely to get there by having people employed in any jobs, even if they’re low paid, than by having them unemployed.
The more people in work the better it is for them and the economy and a healthier economy supports higher wages.