Oh come on Simon, can’t you even get your smears right?
The Leader of the Opposition (until Judith stabs him in the back) has been claiming tens of thousands are going on strike compared to the nine years National were in power. This falsehood has been stripped bare by Radio NZ, NewsHub, NZ Herald, the Spinoff and every other major media network.
To blame Labour for Unions rising up against low wages and poor working conditions because National underfunded them for nine long years is like the arsonist blaming the matches for a fire!
National are bashing Unions and workers because that’s all they know how to do. Their ‘rock star economy’ was based on paying everyone a pittance. Labour are determined to build an economy on rock solid social investment, not rock star shallowness.
That’s why this new Government are looking after your average Kiwis this winter with payments from 1 July to whānau who need support. This week, more than 384,000 middle and lower income families will be better off by an average of $65 to $75 a week, receiving $35 to $55 a week for 13 weeks in Winter Energy payments this year, increasing the accommodation supplement by as much as $80 for larger families, and supporting families with new born babies with an additional $60 in Best Start tax credits.
It should surprise absolutely no one that the first thing we did upon being sworn in as a Government was to cancel the National Party’s terribly flawed tax cuts. These tax cuts would have favoured the few and done nothing to stop the rot and decline we have experienced over the last nine years of neglect.
Instead we have started to rebalance our society, so that everyone can do well and succeed in our economy. This is what we campaigned on and this is what we are delivering.
I want a community where people can work hard all week and put a roof over their heads, food on the table, live in warm healthy homes and still be able to get ahead, and our very first budget is a great start to ensuring this happens.
As well, this new Government will allow Unions to protect vulnerable workers on work sites despite bosses wanting to keep them out.
And of course, this Government is pumping billions into our social services and social infrastructure rather than give major tax cuts to our corporate mates.
But, as Winston has pointed out, we can’t solve all of National’s nine years of underfunding in just one budget – we have to unpick stupid and mean policy and reformat the way we want to treat each other with kindness as our base value and not counterproductive spite.
The only danger is New Zealanders believe the silly media games that play to our worst fears.
There is nothing to be frightened of by treating our workers with respect.
There is nothing to be frightened of by protecting vulnerable workers.
There is nothing to be frightened of by insisting bosses treat their staff with dignity.
This Government is here to make change, instead of making up petty lies and stoking fear and anger. National should start working with the people instead of against them for once.
First published in the Manukau Courier