Bill English sings 'Tie me collective bargaining down mate'
Low wages 'a way of competing'
Finance Minister Bill English has come under fire for saying low wages in New Zealand help it compete with neighbouring Australia. Labour leader Phil Goff said Mr English's comments, made at a weekend leadership forum, showed the Government had no plan to achieve its election promise to close the gap with Australia or to improve the economy. "The best Bill English can do is trumpet that New Zealand wages are 30 per cent below Australia's giving us an 'advantage'. This from a Government which campaigned at the last election on closing the gap with Australia," Mr Goff said.
Claiming that we are more competitive than Australia by having 30% lower wages is like claiming we are dealing with unemployment by having a high suicide rate!
I mean there's the 'always the look on the bright side of life' philosophical discourse and then there's whatever the bloody hell the Minister of Finance is sniffing. After all that catching up with Australia money spent to keep Don Brash to busy rather than attempt Party coups, Bill English has decided trying to catch up with Australia can be achieved if he keeps labour costs near that of unemployed dingos.
Using Bill English's logic, he would also claim that if we just started employing children to re-mine Pike River Mine we could finally be competitive with Australia's minerals industry!
So this is how the Government slip out of the whole catching up with Australia song and dance they've conjured up is it? Claim our appallingly low wage rate caused by his Party in the 90's de-unionizing NZ is actually our competitive advantage?
Forget tie me Kangaroo down sport as a a tune to whistle while beating Australia, it's tie me collective bargaining down mate, tie me collective bargaining down.