Thursday, May 3, 2012
Unemployment Rise Result of Failing Government
We now have 160, 000 people unemployed in New Zealand at 6.7% of the working population, it is up 0.3% over the last 1/4. Most of the unemployment is among women (7.1%) and the level of part-time employment has increased while full-time employment is at the lowest level since September 2010. Unemployed youth aged between 15 to 24 have now reached a new high of 13.9%, double the overall percentage. When the recession has well and truly ended for New Zealand's top income earners and most corporates, these statistics are appalling and a clear sign of economic mismanagement from the government.
At a time when the wealthiest New Zealanders are seeing a 20% increase in income, the government insists on maintaining tax cuts to this group and stifling the domestic economy by keeping minimum wages low and drastically cutting government spending. A good number of the unemployed will include some of the 3,000 positions that have been cut from the state service.
It is madness that when we have a huge housing shortage and, when Christchurch will soon be desperate for tradespeople, that there has been a loss of 4,200 jobs in the construction industry. The Green Party has suggested that it would be timely to build capacity in the construction industry through building much needed state housing and then when Christchurch needs this workforce, it will be available. If we don't train and support the local industry now then we will have to rely on overseas workers when the demand will predictably increase. To only rely on market forces to prepare for a future demand is naive in the extreme.
Most of our exporters and large corporates are seeing solid profits, it is our domestic economy that is struggling. With wages kept low (our median income is only $27,000) there is little discretionary spending to support local businesses, this internal recession is the direct result of the government's determination to to maintain a population of working poor who need their incomes topped up by the state to survive. This a deliberate effort to support National's corporate mates through subsidizing wages.
With the latest concerns regarding the teaching of science in schools, the cut in education spending at tertiary level and the minimal spending on R & D the government is ensuring that our ability to develop competitive and innovative business potential is stymied. Rather than build the capacity to earn more income in sustainable ways the government is relying on selling off our strategic assets in a glorified garage sale, reducing state services and attracting overseas interests to exploit our fossil fuels with few safeguards and ridiculously low royalty rates.
New Zealand is not in the same dire situation as Spain or Ireland and yet this National led government is following the sort of austerity programmes that should only be applied if we were. We do have opportunities and choices but the opportunities are not being grabbed and the good choices are not being made!