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News about the Economy & Employment


Hefty insurance costs deserve closer scrutiny


The Government needs to take a close look at practices that may be forcing Kiwis to pay more for their insurance or preventing them from taking out insurance, Labour's Commerce spokesperson Kris Faafoi says.

"A report released today raises some questions around the nature of the insurance sales market and whether customers are getting a fair deal.

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Investigation needed into roadshow promo


Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi is calling for the Auditor-General and the State Services Commissioner to investigate concerns that taxpayer money and departmental resources are being used for political campaigning.

“Documents released to Labour under the Official Information Act reveal Housing NZ staff working with ‘National HQ’ on filtering data for a roadshow to promote the Government’s Homestart scheme.

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Long-term unemployed now long-term problem


National’s failure to reduce the number of long-term unemployed has become clear with current levels the highest in three years, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Long-term unemployment is a huge problem. The longer you’re out of a job, the harder it is to get one. It is the responsibility of the Government to help break that cycle.

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NZ unemployment now worse than Australia


New Zealand’s unemployment rate is now worse than Australia’s – an economy described as ‘fast becoming a basket case’, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Last night Australia’s new figures put unemployment at 5.9 per cent. New Zealand’s is 6 per cent.

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NZ falls down OECD unemployment ranks


New Zealand is now 15th in the OCED for unemployment – a big drop from first ten years ago, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Our current OECD ranking is the equal worst we have had since the 1990s. The two times we have been 15th have come under this National Government, which came to power at 10th in the developed world and hasn’t got above 9th place.

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Increasing risks as housing contagion spreads


Bill English’s failure to diversify the economy or control the housing bubble is increasing the risks to financial stability identified by the Reserve Bank Governor today, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Graeme Wheeler must be getting sick of sounding like a broken record. In each recent financial stability report he says risks from the dairy and housing sectors are increasing. But each time Bill English ignores him.

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Overwhelming opposition to locking-in zero hour contracts


Lawyers, workers, the Human Rights Commission and even employers were united in their opposition to the Government’s bid to entrench zero-hour contracts during hearings which end today, Labour Issues spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says.

“Employers – including Business NZ -- told the select committee considering the Employment Standards Legislation Bill they don’t use zero hour contracts and they don’t need them.

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National must hurry up and diversify economy


Today’s significant drop in the global dairy price shows National needs to stop sitting on its hands and come up with a plan to diversify the economy, Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“Despite Fonterra putting less product up for sale – as it has done in better recent auctions – prices have fallen significantly. With Europe increasing its production levels there’s little chance of a major recovery for the rest of the year.

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TVNZ backtracks on chopping news jobs in the South


TVNZ has finally listened to sense and shelved plans to axe two fulltime frontline news positions from their Dunedin office, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran.

“The planned cuts to a news operation that covered 65,000 square kilometres of the South Island was short sighted. It is unfathomable that they would chop news gathering in an area bigger then Switzerland.

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