John Key’s promise to close the wage gap with Australia was an important policy plank.
Yesterday Bill English formally abandoned that policy and used the fact that our wages are 30% lower to try and sell New Zealand as a long term investment option.
The fundamental competition is for capital, including Australian capital, he said, and over the next few years New Zealand’s advantages would become more apparent.
“One is the wage differential. We have a workforce that is better educated, just as productive and 30 per cent cheaper,” he said.
I suppose it should be refreshing to see honesty from the government but I do feel sad the the first appearance of a plan openly involves keeping wages low.