Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

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Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby akaxo » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:42 pm

More competition, rather than collaboration, should drive the transtasman economic relationship, Finance Minister Bill English says.

Throwing down the gauntlet in a speech yesterday to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum, the annual gathering of business leaders and officials dedicated to advancing the relationship in general and the Single Economic Market in particular, English stressed the need to compete with Australia and the advantages the country has in doing so.

The fundamental competition is for capital, including Australian capital, he said, and over the next few years New Zealand's advantages would become more apparent.

"One is the wage differential. We have a workforce that is better educated, just as productive and 30 per cent cheaper," he said.
Another is a better regulatory environment.

"While Australia had the better approach, consistent and steady reform over time, it stopped 10 years ago," English said."They were better at it. Now they are not, while we are getting better at it."
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news ... d=10718151

yep that's right, the fact that labour is roughly 30% cheaper in nz than oz is being promoted and sold as a good thing to foreign investors by this govt. and john key campaigned on getting rid of the wage gap between the two countries as being the main purpose and goal of his govt. no wonder they have been shifty as all hell in parliament and skirted round repeated questions asking what their goals and plans are to minimise it after promising to do so. the talk and actions had always been different and now the talk has finally become consistent with their actions at least. cunts.

interestingly he also acknowledges that the rapid reforms done under roger douglas and ruth richardson weren't the bloody marvellous neo-liberal godsend the nats and the like tend to normally say they were but that's a bit of an aside really and quite obviously true.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby Maleficent » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:43 pm

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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby General Mutante » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:25 am

Doesn't selling out your own citizens qualify as treason?

How's about a citizen's arrest of Key or English?
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby Maleficent » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:30 am

I'm wondering how all those proud National voters feel about this...
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby akaxo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:41 am

english was hit up about this on Q&A this morning, was good to see. their discussion panel was pretty bloody critical of him after the interview too.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby mmmm....good crack » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:42 am

haha, the mainfreight guy was pretty happy about the situation though
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby akaxo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:42 am

ha yeah well except for that guy
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby nails » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:01 pm

Where can we read the panel Q&A
excuse my ignorance
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby captain steinakin » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:24 pm

I'm guessing National Radio?
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby mmmm....good crack » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:28 pm

it was on channel 1 this morning, might see it on tvnz on demand, wasn't that great though
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby akaxo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:33 pm

yeah i'm sure all the interviews etc end up on tvnz sites and the whole show on tvnz on demand if ya that keen
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby Fiction & Falsehood » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:33 pm

isnt that the thing with paul holmes on prime or 7 or something?
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby akaxo » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:35 pm

yeah paul 'cheeky darkie' holmes. tv1 every morning, maybe it repeats on 7?? i don't know i don't get 7.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby mmmm....good crack » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:40 pm

i watch 7 sometimes, its awful. no loss getting rid of it.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby Fiction & Falsehood » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:43 pm

actually there was an awesome doco on 7 last night which i entirely missed, its 6 that is getting rid of, and as they are both somewhat less commercial stations they are miles fuckingbetter than the big 3
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby mmmm....good crack » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:46 pm

na terrible, back benchers and shit. heartlands the good one one with from the archives and shit
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby Fiction & Falsehood » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:48 pm

thats a sky channel

is back benchers that live thing in a pub? god that is hideous, seems popular tho, i hate people who discuss politics in that earnest 'i believe' manner.
die you phony partisan fucks.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby mmmm....good crack » Sun Apr 10, 2011 12:57 pm

? its called TVNZ Heartland... must be on freeview? can't check, only have sky digital in my room..

yeh back benchers is fucking terrible. most of the time the 'public' can't talk properly and sound like downys when asked questions.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby Fiction & Falsehood » Sun Apr 10, 2011 1:34 pm

mnah its sky
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby akaxo » Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:46 am

nails wrote:Where can we read the panel Q&A
excuse my ignorance

not the panel but here's excerpt's from the english interview on Q&A yesterday:

on the wage gap comment:
GUYON Can I talk about the real economy for people? They see the cost of living keep going up. They see wages really not— if not quite keeping pace with that, certainly not outstripping it much. I mean, you said at the weekend to the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum that one of our advantages over Australia was that our wages were 30% cheaper. I mean, is that an advantage now?

BILL Well, it’s a way of competing, isn’t it? I mean, if we want to grow this economy, we need the capital – more capital per worker – and we’re competing for people as well.

GUYON So it’s part of our strategy to have wages 30% below Australia?

BILL Well, they are, and we need to get on with competing for Australia. So if you take an area like tourism, we are competing with Australia. We’re trying to get Australians here instead of spending their tourist dollar in Australia.

GUYON But is it a good thing?

BILL Well, it is a good thing if we can attract the capital, and the fact is Australians— Australian companies should be looking at bringing activities to New Zealand because we are so much more competitive than most of the Australian economy.

GUYON So let’s get this straight – it’s a good thing for New Zealand that our wages are 30% below Australia?

BILL No, it’s not a good thing, but it is a fact. We want to close that gap up, and one way to close that gap up is to compete, just like our sports teams are doing. This weekend we’ve had rugby league, netball, basketball teams, and rugby teams out there competing with Australia. That’s lifting the standard. They’re closing up the gap.

GUYON But you said it was an advantage, Minister.

BILL Well, at the moment, if I go to Australia and talk to Australians, I want to put to them a positive case for investment in New Zealand, because while we are saving more, we’re not saving more fast enough to get the capital that we need to close the gap with Australia. So Australia already has 40 billion of investment in New Zealand. If we could attract more Australian companies, activities here, that would help us create the jobs and lift incomes.

GUYON The last headline I saw said Australian had dropped its unemployment rate to 4.9%, added 37,800 jobs. Unemployment here pushing 7%, wages 30% higher over there – why wouldn’t you go?

BILL Well, some people will, and that’s fine, but why would we sit round being mesmerised by the fact that some Kiwis go to Australia? We’ve got a long-term plan to lift the performance of this economy, because we need higher incomes and we need more jobs.
and earlier on asset sales:
GUYON Let’s talk about the logic of moving those assets on in terms of the ones that you actually want to sell. In 2010, you got $831 million in dividends from the state-owned enterprises and Air New Zealand. Now, $802 million, almost all of that, came from the five companies that you want to sell. I mean, aren’t you killing the goose that laid the golden egg here?

BILL Well, under the model the government has proposed, we would be maintaining at least 51% ownership in those companies, so we still have a right to the dividends that would come from it.

GUYON Well, half the dividends, presumably.

BILL Well, the dividends that come to our 51% share, that’s right. Half the dividends. And we believe in the long run we’re going to get better performance and more value out of those companies by having the opportunity for Kiwis to buy a share in it, get better performance from the market pressure that would be on them.

GUYON But is that true? Your own Treasury says, and I quote, in the paper that you requested on this issue, ‘There is no clear evidence to suggest that financial performance of the SOE companies is better or worse than private-sector comparables.’ It says, ‘There’s little evidence to suggest that privatisation would significantly improve the financial performance of many of the SOE companies.’

BILL Well, we simply don’t agree necessarily with Treasury on that, and we have a number of—

GUYON But Treasury aren’t exactly left-wing sort of hand-wringers on this, are they?

BILL Well, they’ve had no experience of these kind of asset sales now for 10 or 15 years, so it’s not something they’ve dealt with.

GUYON Where are you taking advice from? Is it just you and a few other Cabinet ministers? I mean, if Treasury don’t even believe, and they say there will be ‘modest economic gains’, where has your evidence come from?

BILL Well, we are of the view that the model, like Air New Zealand, has worked very well – mixed ownership where a combination of market pressure, an arm’s-length relationship with government has allowed that company to go through considerable changes and achieve what’s very difficult to achieve anywhere in the world, and that is be a successful regional airline. So we’re more convinced than Treasury that we’ll get better performance out of those companies, but we have other objectives as well, which are to provide some kind of investment opportunities that New Zealanders think would be useful for them, particularly longer term solid investments after all the negative experiences that they’ve had.
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Re: Bill English: NZ's low wages a good thing

Postby bridge. » Mon Apr 11, 2011 7:55 pm

Interesting....I expected Treasury to have been told to come back with a "yes". Turns out they came back with a "meh" and they just ignored it instead.


Maybe this means we can save some money by cutting the entire Treasury Ministry now....clearly Bill's gut has got this shit covered.


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