Unemployment insurance the price CTU has to pay PSA to get Helen Kelly’s Fair Pay Agreement


New Zealand income insurance scheme proposal: Government seeks feedback

Designed by the government, Business New Zealand, and the Council of Trade Unions (NZCTU), the scheme would cover people who are made redundant, laid off, or when a health condition or disability significantly affects their work hours.

It would be managed by ACC, and would be paid for by levies on wages and salaries, with workers and employers paying an estimated 1.39 percent each.

Robertson announced the details of the proposal, which the government is seeking feedback on, this morning. He said there were important lessons to be learned from the impacts of Covid-19, and the value of the Wage Subsidy and Resurgence Support Payment schemes.

The outrageous Unemployment Insurance being touted isn’t just the creation of a two tiered welfare system for the middle classes to enjoy, it’s a baked horse trading deal between the CTU and PSA to get support for the Fair Pay Agreement.

The PSA is the largest and most powerful public sector Union, the Fair Pay Agreement is a de facto universal unionism that would water down PSA influence.

Enter the Unemployment Insurance. It enables Wellington’s bureaucratic class to just tag in a 7 month State paid sojourn on top of their holidays when you want to take the next deck chair shuffling redundancy package.

It’s PSA members and white collar workers who benefit from this outrages public policy package!

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The self interest dripping here masquerading as workers rights is as audacious as the Taxpayer’s Union calling itself a Union!

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  1. So they’ll be negotiating with imaginary employers for imaginary wage increases because the employers have already said they ain’t gonna play ball, turn up!

    So mandatory wage increases may need to be at least 7.5%+ to keep up with ‘inflation’ and this new tax-levy where employees pay for their own sick leave come redundancy!

    If we were to add the real inflation component to the equation, an additional 25% for the Land Value that isn’t captured in inflation. Wage increases should be at least 30%!

    • Yep why not increase wages by 30% @DP we’ll all end up paying for it one way or another, same as we are now.

      • Yes agree.
        If a wage increase of 30% is warranted then the Labour Government have successfully destroyed New Zealand in 5 years.
        Is that quicker than it took in Venezuela?

  2. Martin – normally agree with you but you are wrong – the PSA wont benefit or have their influence watered down as a result of FPA. Unfortunatly. FPA will only exist in low wage industries with low union density e.g. retail and service industries. FPA wont be the panacea of the transitional change the is needed for workers in NZ and certainly wont help build trade unions density/strength – in reality it’s all that the Labour Govt is offering. Crumbs and the unions like the PSA are too scared to acknowledge that with regards to their the Labour party masters which is now a conservative neo liberal market driven political party. Mind you FPA are not off the ground yet and I remain sceptical that they will deliver the change that is needed. Most state sector CA’s already have very generous redundancy provisions (and good on them) and yes they will have cream on top with the Unemployment Insurance but the majority of workers have no redundancy entitlement except for notice period and almost always this must be worked. There is also some decent attempts to get workers retrained as part of the proposal which will benefit low wage workers.
    the sun would shine brighter with UI if it were paid for soley by the employer and further cost will and should go down lie a cold cup of sick for low paid workers.

  3. “The PSA is the largest and most powerful public sector Union,”
    What about a Farmers Union? They’re our primary industry but also provide us with the food we eat and the clothes we wear and pay for the stuff and things we must import so don’t you reckon a Farmers Union might be fun? Might it not be even more powerfuller? ( I’m a farmer and as everyone knows we’re dumber than Dumb and Dumber and spelling an’ that is hard for us. x
    If Farmers were unfettered by crooks within the ‘public service’ what ever the fuck that is, aye homeless people and you hungry kids? then we’d have all the money we’d need and a higher standard of living to boot.
    AO/NZ is a con job from Cape Reinga to Bluff. When, I wonder will someone else other than my lonely self going to realise that?
    The ‘Public Service’, like the IRD, the courts and the msm. They’re a thin opaque veneer hiding a writhing nest of crooks feasting off free and easy farmer money.
    Aye boys?
    You wouldn’t want to have to share all that lovely free money around now would you? No multi million dollar holiday mansions in ZQT, no casual sojourn’s to The Cook Islands and/or Panama, no NYC dens of iniquity, no corporate jet fly-bys, no back-room, drunken, sneering, snicker fests at how you just fucked everyone on the deal and if those whom you fucked were poor to begin with? That makes your little diddles get even stiffer, isn’t that right?
    AO/NZ needs a royal commission of inquiry into everything everywhere spanning the last 100 years.

    • …”You wouldn’t want to have to share all that lovely free money around now would you? No multi million dollar holiday mansions in ZQT, no casual sojourn’s to The Cook Islands and/or Panama, no NYC dens of iniquity, no corporate jet fly-bys, no back-room, drunken, sneering, snicker fests at how you just fucked everyone on the deal and if those whom you fucked were poor to begin with? That makes your little diddles get even stiffer, isn’t that right?…


      No, … not a Royal Commission of Enquiry,… nothing less than a Supreme Court trial thus avoiding the whitewash of ‘Royal Commissions of Enquiry’. RCoE’S are nothing more than the elites way of protecting their bums. F@ck ’em. Get them to trial and get them behind four small walls. With a humongous dirty great big lock on the door. And then backdate the profits they made in the last 36 years pillaging the NZ public and return it thus. Think of all the houses that could build for working people.. That’ll f@ck em. Them and their offshore corporate mates to boot.

  4. We need to fight for it. It’s not perfect, but having people lose everything because they cannot work due to sickness or they get laid off goes against all common decency.

    People need to be prepared to explain to cancer patients why they should be forced to live in their card because some rich prick doesn’t want to pay a few extra in tax.

    • You answered your own question millsy on why this is a bad idea, we should just tax the rich. Bugger charity and good will, just pay bloody taxes.

      That said our corporate elects, will never raise a cent in tax. Unless we force them to do it.

    • Employees pay for it with an additional tax of 1.39%, and 40% of employees in NZ earn minimum wages so the rich pricks are not paying for the scheme, it’s all the workers and businesses.

      Remember the just put up the top tax rate for doctors to 39%, but bear in mind you still have to pay for your student debts 12%, ACC, Kiwisaver and now another tax of 1.39%.

      Overseas if you make someone redundant you have to pay them compulsory pay outs from the business.

      In NZ if you get Cancer you can claim sickness benefit or have an accident ACC.

      It’s another tax on those already paying taxes to benefit those who can’t or (won’t) pay taxes.

      • Sickness benefit is woefully inadequate and heavily means tested. Homeless shelters are full of people who had to stop working due to illness. They had to leave their homes because they couldn’t afford rent, etc and now they have nothing. To support that is inhumane.

        • This only lasts 6/7 months so most people with illnesses like Cancer then go back onto the sickness benefit….. increasing and making fairer what is already available such as the sickness benefit rather than putting in more bureaucracy and government departments that share similar functions would be a better use of government time and money.

  5. Good job the child poverty levels, homelessness and house prices are not a major issue like this is. Look over there.

  6. This appears to be a n”ice to have” proposal but light years from the biggest issue by far facing the well being of this country, namely housing.

  7. The Unemployment insurance is more taxes against those that actually work and pay taxes in NZ!

    Overseas they make the employer who makes the employee redundant pay compulsory payouts so that the worker has enough money to look for another job.

    Under Rogernomics the workers themselves have to pay for their own redundancy through additional taxes they pay!

    Truely crazy, and another nail in the coffin for the Labour and Green Party in NZ. I mean who is happy with this, worker who pay more taxes in case their employer decides to make them redundant!

    Don’t forget this is on top of the higher tax rate which probably only professionals like doctors and dentists pay as 50% of the rich listers earn under $70k apparently.

    Then we have the petrol tax of 10% which is money doing nothing as they didn’t spend half of it or create any working public transport with the money that consumers want to use. Also if you don’t work you don’t need to drive to work and pay the tax.

    No wonder nobody wants to work in NZ anymore and we have a massive brain drain.

    • Better than losing everything because you got laid off, or sick.

      This scheme is compassion in action. It will ensure that the sick are looked after and that they do not wind up in their cars.

      • Don’t be fooled. Its a policy put in place by Robbo to ensure there is no mortgagee sales due to people losing their jobs. He wants house prices to stay well elevated so the rich stay firmly ‘on top’.

      • don’t we have sickness/disability benefits?….oh they’re a pittance you say…well there’s a way to fix that that isn’t a job creation scheme for bureaucrats isn’t there…..oh the LINOs don’t want to do the obvious but they target help to their key demographic..quelle surprise

  8. PREDICTION…within 5 years of introduction….

    end to any and all redundancy/sickness payments by employers 1/2 cost to be funded by the worker…yay

    will only apply to full time (ie the LINOs pampered bourgeoisie)

    80 percent of a McJob/gig job is 80percent of a pittance …. yay

    it will justify continued poverty benefits for those unemployed over 7 months, pensioners and the disabled…yay

    no doubt the ‘insurance’ will have to be purchased from private insurers if they go bust in a recession..tough..yay

    I do have to say it’s a tactic to ameliorate the coming neo-lib catastrophes’ effect on labours core demographic, karen and ken..ie NOT most workers.

    It’s basically the US system gonna be good when the ‘insurance’ runs out.

    it’s just the ‘covid socialism’ formalised.

    • Follow the paper trail with ‘covid socialism’ …

      A Manufactured Illusion: Dr David Martin with Reiner Fuellmich

      Its all about the money, boss, this isn’t a public health concern, never was, its all about the money, honey. And there’s a lot of rich pricks making a gold mine out of ‘covid socialism’. L0L !

  9. I don’t think Federated Farmers is the same as a Farmers Union, more like a group of Primary Producers business cartel. Not all farmers are included, and not all farmers in fluFF are oriented to maintaining standards. I think they have a loose idea of being like sector masons; farmes and land-holders instead of proud. trained stonemasons.

    One of my relations is in IT and works with a group who keep the electronics of the various arms of a large retail business functioning. His contract finishes in seven months. This fast, fleet-footed system of employment where businesses shed employees like trees in autumn is part of the problem of ppor pay and conditions. Businesses want to make 8-13 percent profit and I don’t know what net profit but are doing it often at the expense of not utilising their workforce. fairly.

    I came across an anecdote the other day about a multi-tasking person going from one job to the other. It seems that the change from personnel to human resourcdes is one that is a downward path for the worker.

    There is an anti-work movement which is understandable. But in the long run it is not sustainable. We have to feed and house ourselves somehow. Slaves could like their position if they had a good master and a task that was respected. As Bob Dylan wrote ‘ You have to Serve Somebody’ or even Nature, and if the rain doesn’t come at the right time and the right amount you starve.

    We have got to a very entitled level in our civilisation; we are so into symbolic stuff, ersatz value from a swipe of a piece of plastic etc. that we have trouble seeing our plight seriously. I am drawn to the example of the Cooks and Stewards Union, well paid, and seemingly resenting having to do their sometimes unpleasant jobs, for reasonably good money and long holidays when they conducted their own private enterprises. Yet they went on strike at Christmas etc., and would express sorrow at being forced by the intransigence of employers to do so. And they had their own semi-masonic system with ;limited membership, and I don’t know what their work values were like.

    So are the same types wanting an open-slather system now? Can something be done so that practical steps be taken to control the enterprise system so that everyone gets something, and those who want to try harder don’t get taken to the cleaners after they have mortgaged anything they have. The capitalist system does open up opportunities but it can be like a shell game if not controlled by as good a set of rules as they have in say, the game of Scrabble, where everyone watches what goes on and stops flagrant bendng of the agreed methods and limits.

  10. Another cost lumped onto the employer at a time when many small business owners are struggling with the effects of covid.
    They pay 10 days sick leave 3 days berevment up to 5 days off for stress leave now this just so this kind government do not have to increase benefits to a level that people can survive without going to a foodbank. Another slight of hand while we are coming to grip with ongoing covid disruption.

    • Why don’t you just admit that you want people to financially wiped out if they get sick or laid off (thru no fault of their own btw).

      This scheme is redistribution in action. True fairness and compassion. To ensure that people are looked after in bad times and that getting hit by cancer doesn’t mean that you don’t lose everything.

      You are a sad, nasty little man Trevor. It’s the rich pricks who should go to the wall, not the poor.

      • So you support a 2 tier system . What happens to those not in pay employment usually the wife who gets sick then the man leaves her . She is then on a sickness benefit that is far too small . As I have spent the last 6 years working as a volunteer with various charities since having to give up work due to ill health I can see the effect off first hand . The problems will not fixed putting employers in a situation that puts them on the back foot . Most employers do not lay off staff if the business is growing.
        How many people have you employed ?
        Being nasty is not the proactive of the rich you f wit

        • So you of all people should know that giving up work because of Ill health shouldn’t lead to a lifetime of pernury. This scheme insure people are looked after and that they are able to pay their rent/mortgage and bills, etc. But you want to have cancer patients out on the streets because you want to protect the rich business owners

          • This scheme lasts for a few months then what ?Back to the underfunded sickness benefit and dealing with the mean spirited workers at WINZ . If people are on this scheme will they be counted as unemployed or is this another slight of hand to make this loser government look good.

        • And it looks like you want to get rid of paid holidays and sick leave as well. And ACC. People just starve in the streets if they cannot work.

      • no millsey I’d just like to see a benefits system that gives ALL disabled/unemployed/ pensioners a decent living standard…not just a selected group..
        if that makes me himmler so be it.

    • if you can’t run a business efficiently paying all the costs of business, can I please have free raw materials cos my business can’t afford them IS NOT A THING, just pay the real costs of business and take less profit. i know that seems unreasonable but it’s the ‘discipline of the market’.

  11. If the government was truly seeking to ease the transition from employment to the benefit they would scrap the stand down period from redundancy to being eligible for the dole, and allow for a level of earned income before loosing it.
    An advocate interviewed on RNZ this afternoon deflected a question on how this added tax would help businesses recover from or survive the pandemic, by saying that businesses will do better in the long run because of the extended purchasing power of the recipients of this insurance through more money being spread around. Quite missing the point that it is to be taken out of circulation first, in amounts in excess of what is expected to be paid out to cover the running costs, and then contributing to the ACC pool of our money for another speculation based investment fund that can do nothing but increase house prices as it joins the massive pool of printed money sloshing around in that totally unproductive parasitic cancerous growth on the real economy.
    D J S

    • So you would make cancer patients live in their cars because those rich prick business owners get a tax cut? You digust me.

    • Hear. hear DJS.
      If the government was truly seeking to ease the transition from employment to the benefit they would scrap the stand down period from redundancy to being eligible for the dole, and allow for a level of earned income before loosing it. (Me ‘and allpw for a ‘high’ level of earned income before losing it.)

      A go for it attitude from government to the beneficiary instead of the crippling level of sneering and distrust and then surprise when a beneficiary doesn’t fit their warped ideas of beneficiaries being sub-human, lazy, inept, uneducated druggies with no redeeming qualities.

  12. Easing down secondary tax and doing away with gst on essential items ie food fuel etc especially for low wage workers would go a lot further than some complicated employee/employer redundancy scheme that will have more fishhooks in than a Chinese longliner.

    • No it won’t. Your proposal for tax cuts will go no where near as far as this scheme.

      This scheme will eliminate poverty, homelessness and more importantly, the power that bosses have over workers.

      Your proposal of taking $2 off a bag of oranges will help no one

  13. “Mr Robertson, normal people are struggling to make ends meet.”

    “I know, I’ll put up interest rates and introduce another tax on income”

    • And what about people who cannot pay their rent because they get laid off or cancer?

      Do they just go and live in their cars?

      Anyone who opposes this scheme is completely devoid of any common decency. To throw cancer patients out on the street is digusting

      • Actually, I believe that normal people already pay enough tax, either directly or indirectly to the ruling classes. I believe that normal people should already have the sort of protections outlined by this ‘new’ scheme. I believe this is just another grab of resources by people with money and power from people without money and power.

        • What? A benefit that is bugger all? Surely people should be able to get through sickness or unemployment with a minimal drop in living standards?

          • What is wrong with you? Who are you arguing with? Read my comments. I believe people should get the benefits outlined in this announcement without having to pay the extra tax – on the grounds that they already pay enough tax – much of which gets transferred to the wealthy through corporate welfare.

  14. no one wants cancer patients in cars..but increasing the level benefits to livable rates for all would eliminate the need for this targeted(and I’m being generous there) socialism for the middle class…a 2 tier system encourages poverty, expands the underclass and fuels bennie bashing.
    What happens when your 7 months run out and you go down to the level of povety benefits…oh that’s right cancer patients get to live in their cars..HUZZAH

  15. Note that any tax paid ‘by the employer’ on a percentage of the employees income is just an opaque, stealthy, income tax. It’s ultimately paid by employees because employers will just take it out of the pot of money they assign to employees wages.

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