News about the Economy & Employment

Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis

National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“This is a double blow for New Zealand businesses. Prices for their products at home are falling and our dollar is overinflated due to high interest rates, making product prices high and uncompetitive for exporting.

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Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage

KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released the findings of its investigation into Labour’s concerns the engineers at Hutt Railway workshops – hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives – are being exploited.

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Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole

Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“The economic black hole from the fall in milk prices is getting bigger and bigger. Since the February 2014 peak, prices have fallen 51 per cent. That will see a large fall in the Fonterra milk payout to farmers.

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Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours

Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours.

McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says.

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Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed

The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says.

"Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement that will significantly improve the position of its workers.

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We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’

John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has promised a surplus this year. Never was it mentioned that it was an ‘artificial target’. In fact several times in the last election campaign he said the books were already in surplus.

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Trust in National will disappear with deficit

Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“John Key has spent seven years and two election campaigns telling New Zealanders to trust him, be patient and that he will deliver a surplus this year. But eight months into the financial year the books are over $260 million still in the red. That’s not good enough.  

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Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation

Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation services at Staples Rodway said: ‘I think people will be slow to change their approach to R&D based on this’.

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Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes

The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“New Zealanders want to earn more. To do that we need to sell quality products for good prices overseas. A Kiwi dollar equal to the Aussie – our biggest trading partner – holds our exporters and incomes back.

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