It’s been a very expensive week for the taxpayer.
There’s the $333,641.70 Parliamentary Services paid for Trevor Mallard’s loose lips – and that’s likely to increase once an employment dispute is settled.
That was followed by the steep increase to the minimum wage, which might add to costs of the lowest paid in the public service and will add costs to all businesses.
As Lindsay Mitchell pointed out it will also increase the cost of benefits.
. . . Down the track it will lift the incomes of many more now that beneficiary rates are linked to wage inflation. . .
. . .It makes life harder for businesses and there is no increased certainty about supply of labour if benefit payment rates are competing. Earlier Henry Cooke calculated, “…benefits will go up between $27 and $46 a week by April 2023 – between $10 and $17 a week higher than they would under the old formula.”
To maintain relativity employers will be pressured to raise the wages of those above the minimum wage and are likely to pass their increased costs along to customers and nobody will be any the better for it.
It’s going to be difficult for the Reserve Bank to keep a lid on inflation. . . .
Inflation will negate any benefit from wage increases.
It’s not just this payment, it’s the damage it’s done to property rights and the risk it poses to Treaty settlements:
National’s finance spokesman, Michael Woodhouse, said taxpayers were paying for the Government’s bungling of a land dispute.
“Taxpayers aren’t a bank to be called upon to clean up the Government’s poor decisions, particularly when it is meddling in private property rights,” Woodhouse said.
“The Prime minister should never have involved herself in the Ihumātao dispute and taxpayers shouldn’t bailing her out now.
“The ramifications of this Crown deal go much further than the lost opportunity of building houses immediately. It will call all full and final Treaty settlements into question and set a dangerous precedent for other land occupations, like the one at Wellington’s Shelly Bay.
“More than 20,000 Kiwi families are on the waiting list for a home this Christmas. The Government should not be spending $30 million on stopping 480 much-needed houses from being built right now.” . .
The costs aren’t just financial.
The man defamed by Mallard lost his job and now has health problems.
The steep increase in the minimum wage will cost jobs and could be the last straw for businesses already in a precarious state.
And the political interference at Ihumātao has cost 480 desperately needed houses.
This is a very expensive start to the new government’s term.