Labour has released an anti-immigration policy :
Increasing points for those willing to work outside Auckland is good in theory but difficult to implement in practice.
Even if they could find a way to keep immigrants out of Auckland the aim of helping the regions is contradicted by the next bit:
. . . Labour will require employers bringing in overseas workers to pay a living wage (after accommodation deductions) where the job offer forms part of the reason the application is accepted. . . .
The living wage is supposed to be the amount a family of four requires to live on. It has nothing at all to do with the value of the work done and will mean single people are getting more than they supposedly “need”.
Will this also apply to young people who come here with visas based on negotiations for reciprocal rights for New Zealanders in their countries?
Most of them are single and should be able to live very well on a lot less than a family of four would need.
This requirement would effectively shut them out of lots of jobs, many of which are seasonal and don’t appeal to locals. It would also threaten the reciprocal rights of young New Zealanders seeking work experience overseas.
“We will also ensure RSE workers are paid at the rate of at least the minimum wage plus $1.25 an hour, with accommodation provided in addition to wages. Employers in industries with skills shortages and low pay will be required to be involved in implementing training plans before they are given the right to bring in workers from overseas. . .
The RSE scheme is working well as it is and has safeguards against exploitation of workers.
Without these employees businesses would not be able to source enough workers for seasonal activities, particularly in harvesting horticultural produce, for which there aren’t enough locals.
Adding costs to production in this way would add to the cost of produce. That’s the fresh fruit and vegetables which Labour was going to exempt from GST before the last election because they said they were too expensive.
Making labour more expensive would mean the cost would have to be passed on to consumers which could dampen demand, or businesses would have to accept a lower profit, both could threaten their viability.
This policy appears to have been written by unions under the erroneous impression that immigrants are taking jobs from locals.
Employers want the best people for the job with the minimum of paper work and hassle.
Employing immigrants adds time and hassle to the process as it is, adding extra costs will make many immigrants unemployable.
Trevor Mallard launched the policy outside the National party conference on Saturday and hadn’t alerted the media.
It has had little exposure and perhaps that was deliberate because even he must know this is an anti-immigration, anti-regions policy.