CTU Fairness@Work Plays of the Week

Government accounts tight The Government ‘opened the books’ for the pre election economic update this week.   A combination of both lower income to the government from taxes, and higher costs have meant that the government’s financial position is worse than expected.  However, some of the higher costs are because more people than predicted have taken up KiwiSaver and 20 hours free early childhood education – and this is good – it has benefits not only to individuals, but the economy as a whole.  These figures will limit any promises of additional spending and/or tax cuts by political parties this election, unless they are paid for out of cuts in spending elsewhere, or even more borrowing.
Work rights for casual workers Work rights have improved for casual workers under this government – including a much higher minimum wage.  But far too many workers are being employed through labour hire agencies or other third parties rather than directly by their employer, meaning lower pay, worse conditions and less job security.  Unions want legislation that was recently introduced passed into law, which would ensure workers employed by labour hire companies get the same pay and conditions as the people they work alongside, if there’s a collective agreement on site.
Did you know? Did you know that National froze the minimum wage at $7.00 for the last three years they were in office in the 1990s?  Over the whole nine years they were in government, it went up by less than a dollar – from $6.13 to $7.00.  This is in stark contrast to the last nine years, where the minimum wage has gone up by $5 – from $7 to $12 an hour.

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