Yesterday in the electorate office I met an articulate middle aged woman at her wits end. She is a skilled person- a business analyst and project manager in the IT sector. She has been out of work for most of the last two years. She has used up all her savings and has now had to sell her home. She came to see me because she is being given the run around by Work and Income about her eligibility for support. As she said she felt like the staff at Work and Income made her feel it was her fault she was unemployed. She knows its not their fault, they are only following the directives from the top. She is stressed and struggling.
We talked, my office staff went away to talk to Work and Income, and I suggested some ideas for helping with her job search. She said towards the end of the conversation, ” I am working really hard here, but what is the government doing to help create jobs.”
But the figures out yesterday are John Key’s problem. He’s promised Kiwis that National would bring better jobs, higher wages and voters flocked to him. He has now said jobs are coming and we just need a little more patience. But time is ticking.
Key can dance badly and he can smile, he can laugh at himself and pick which of the ladies are hot – and in many ways his opponents have totally underestimated his ability as a politician and his ability to reach into ordinary New Zealand households.
But ordinary households need the recovery to kick in too, and Key needs more jobs to be created – his political credibility and the credibility of his economic plan relies on it.