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Slave Labour Economy

I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised with our Minister of Finance’s latest comments about New Zealand’s competitive advantages over Australia.

First his party changed their mind about increasing GST. Before the election: we will not increase GST, we are a low tax party; after the election: we are increasing GST. Now they reveal their true thoughts regarding the New Zealand labour force: after claiming they wanted our pay rates to match Australia’s they now say low wages in New Zealand are a good thing.

OK, fine. If they really think that low wages, which can be exploited by overseas companies, are a good idea then they are entitled to believe that. But why pretend they are trying to increase wages here? That’s dishonest. If low wages are an advantage to the New Zealand economy how can aiming for wage equality with Australia still be an advantage? They can’t have it both ways.

But it does reveal how dishonest and deeply cynical this government really is. They couldn’t care less about the average New Zealander except as a source of easily exploitable labour. All they want is for their rich buddies to get richer at whatever cost is necessary to the rest of us.

Why would anyone vote for these people? Except for the rich elite of course. I can see why they were voted in at the last election: people were just sick of Labour, but why has National’s popularity stayed reasonably high?

Maybe it’s partly because of the uneven treatment the New Zealand media give the parties. Every trivial little problem in the Labour Party is blown out of proportion with endless uninformed opinion by every commentator who is prepared to say what the media want to hear. But National seem to be able to get away with almost anything.

For example, when I researched the news item above – one which seems to be important to most New Zealanders – I found one reference to it, and even that was a defence of the original statement by the Prime Minister. But there were at least 5 references to the latest dispute in the Labour Party. One which was clearly motivated by a procedural disagreement with no real bearing on the big picture.

But the media is controlled by big business and the National Party is clearly a party which favours the interests of business (and that includes large foreign corporations) over those of the majority of citizens. Who knows, maybe they really still believe in the “trickle down” theory even though it has never worked in the past.

If they do believe that then they are deluded, but if they don’t they are dishonest. So which is it? Actually, I think I prefer lying politicians (it’s what we expect anyway) to ideologically deluded ones (yes, I know, that’s common enough as well) but either way the situation isn’t great.

According to the Prime Minister it is a “statement of fact” that New Zealand is “slightly cheaper in terms of its wage rates than Australia”. Slightly cheaper? Really? Is that why New Zealanders who can’t afford to live here are constantly heading off to Australia? Maybe that’s why National are so popular. Most of the people disadvantaged by their policies don’t live here any more!

Well at least we have a clear choice now: if you want to be part of a slave labour economy set up for the benefit of overseas corporations then re-elect National!

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