Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Key promises 'new ideas' on jobs

You have to admire John Key's insouciance. Having failed to in anyway stop the growth of the dole queue with his first round of great ideas, he's happy to offer us more of the same:

The continuing layoffs are heaping more pressure on the Government, and Key said yesterday he had a plan to mitigate rising unemployment.

"We've got an economic strategy ... and I intend over the next few weeks to spell out my thinking in that area," he said. "But we can't escape the fact that we are in a global recession." (1)

Lefthandpalm eagerly awaits. After a cut price cycleway that looks like it will never get built, and a nine day fortnight, what will Key offer us? A foot path and an eight day fortnight?

In the meantime, Key and his government have continued to lay waste to the public service, making about 200 people redundant at Ministry of Social Development (2). The figures here are interesting. 550 positions will be nixed, and 335 new ones created. One can't help but wonder how the new jobs will compare to the old, in terms of hours and pay. So the damage to the department's ability to do its job may be even greater. And surely Social Development would be one of the last places you'd slash jobs from, in the middle of a recession?

Here's a radical idea, John. Instead of hypocritically making grand (though empty) gestures about helping the private sector why not stop throwing people out of jobs in the public service, where they are actively contributing to the welfare of the nation and mitigating the effects of the aforementioned global recession? No matter how many companies you save with your cunning plans and clever tricks (total to date ... er?), the economy will still fall apart because no-one will buy stuff if they are worried they won't have a job next week. Just a thought.
1 - "PM promises 'new ideas' on jobs," by Colin Espiner, published in The Press, 1st of July, 2009. Reproduced on (
2 - ibid.

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