Finance Minister Bill English is set to break another promise to New Zealand workers, talking down the prospect of decent wage increases for workers in an interview today, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“National campaigned on the promise of average wage increases of more than $6000 in this term of government. In an interview on TVNZ’s Q and A show today Bill English poured cold water on that, saying that was part of a ‘political debate’.
“New Zealand workers cannot win with Bill English. When inflation was running higher, he said wage increases were off the table because they would fuel inflation. Now he is saying low inflation means that workers will not get a meaningful increase. It is always jam tomorrow with Bill English.
“This latest backflip comes alongside Bill English abandoning his long-held promise of a meaningful surplus in this year’s Budget. It shows that National has failed the tests it has set itself to demonstrate it is managing the economy well.
“New Zealanders deserve better than that. It is not good enough to say one thing to be elected and then walk away from the promise.
“Workers hearing about an economy with strong growth prospects will be wondering where their cut is. Many have not had a pay increase for several years and feel they have done their fair share of belt tightening. This is especially so for those in Auckland who have seen the cost of housing rise by thirteen percent in the last year, and rents by eight percent.
“Bill English’s lack of ideas on how to make housing more affordable and accessible says it all. The government needs to stop blaming everyone else for the problems in the economy and after six years in office, finally take some responsibility,” Grant Robertson said.