Before the last election the wage gap with Australia was John Key’s #1 issue. Key even went as far as to say that the ‘fundamental purpose’ of his government would be to narrow the gap. Listening to Gerry Brownlee and John Key in the House today and yesterday, apparently the problem has been solved already.
Yesterday Brownlee claimed that the gap ‘is certainly a lot less than it was when Labour was in office’ despite the fact that it has blown out by more than $50 a week since National took office. In the last quarter, according to official statistics, Australian wages have increased by $17 a week, compared to $3 for Kiwi workers.
Kiwi workers will fall even further behind from October when they will be paying a consumption tax (GST) that is 50 percent higher than in Australia. We have caught up with Australia in one respect though, when National took over we had a lower unemployment rate – they’ve managed to turn that around in 18 months!
So where is John Key’s plan? Smiling and waving for the cameras won’t get us there. As Annette King said in the House yesterday, “It’s time for the Government to stop kicking the tyres, put some petrol in the tank. start the engine and go somewhere!”. Couldn’t have said it better…!