It really is time for the National Party to grow up and stop being so spiteful. Last month, National Party MP Tim Macindoe, wrote a column complaining and whinging that the new Government is pushing for laws that will strengthen the rights of New Zealand Workers.
Tim moaned about how we will make it fairer for workers in any business larger than 20 staff to not be sacked after 90 days. He cried that we would ensure all workers were protected by existing collective contracts. He wailed that we would make it impossible for bad bosses to walk away from the negotiating table. He screamed that workers in an entire industry would get a fair deal if the workers wanted to collectively bargain.
So in summary, Tim moaned, cried, wailed and screamed.
Put a sock in it Tim.
As Minister of Employment, I will not allow the National Party to derail our genuine desire to make sure the rockstar economy plays for everyone, not just the rich.
Our latest Unemployment rate has dropped to 4.4%, but I’m not patting myself on the back because my focus is on the 12.4% of young people not in employment, education or training.
That figure shockingly jumps to 21.4% when it’s Māori.
It is simply not good enough that we allow our young people to rot through lack of opportunity and support, especially our young disabled people. Our labour reform changes coupled with our post-secondary fees-free policy will ensure those who want to work have those opportunities.
I’ve already announced $13million in youth employment programmes in regions with entrenched unemployment and I’ve been out to those regions talking with community about how we can make sure the next generation have the same opportunities we’ve all come to expect in a country that prides itself on giving everyone a fair go.
The National Party and their rich mates have had it too good for too long. The rockstar economy played for the few, not the many and this Government intends to make sure everyone gets the chance to dance.
It’s not good enough to just have a job, we must strive for jobs with dignity under employment law that treats workers with respect, not as disposable units that get dumped when the boss throws a tantrum.
There is nothing to fear from ensuring our most vulnerable workers are protected and this Government will not retract or apologise for rolling out that type of strategy. I have seen first-hand how grateful workers and communities are with the changes that we are making and the funding and resourcing that is now reaching them.
I’m proud of what we are attempting to do in terms of resourcing the working class, the homeless, and our people in the regions.
Last week our Housing Minister Phil Twyford and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a $100 million package that will tackle homelessness and urgent housing.
The housing crisis is yet another legacy of the previous government. Never before in our history have we seen homelessness as bad as it’s been in the previous nine years with National.
So fixated they seem to be in terms of looking after their mates that they forgot about the basics: our infrastructure, our regions, young people. I could go on and on.
So much for their ‘rockstar economy’.
First published in the Manukau Courier