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Ed Said - Do new brooms always sweep clean?



dadJust when we think the election is over and things will ‘settle down’ (whatever that means), Kaipara must again stand alone in electing a new Mayor and then, if that person happens to be one of the present Councillors there will need to be a by-election to fill that vacancy. Isn’t it all fun!

While, nationally, I accept that MMP gives proportional representation, I fail to see how people who have lost their seat in a democratic election can hold national office or how a party with a very small percentage of support can become the major shareholder. Though there are few countries in the world who have adopted MMP, New Zealand is the only one where the party with the majority of votes and/or seats does not have any participation in the government at all.

Priorities for the new government are still being sorted but there are a couple of things that concern me in the interests of the bigger picture.

Firstly, there are a growing number of small businesses in Mangawhai and across the Kaipara employing reasonable numbers of both full and part time staff. I do not begrudge anyone the opportunity to earn a reasonable wage, commensurate with the job they do, but don’t forget there is this thing called “parity”. In any business there are those employees who are smarter, work harder, accept responsibility, are more trustworthyand more experienced. Do these people not deserve to be paid more than those who would likely list Tinder, Facebook, and Minecraft as priorities over holding down a job?

By raising the minimum wage, the government fails to realise when you raise the floor, you also have to raise the ceiling. Roughly speaking, current staff may consist of 1 x Manager $20/hour, 1 x Senior $18/hour, 2 x Juniors $15/hour. Total weekly wage bill say $2720. So with the minimum “living” wage raised to an intended $20 per hour here is what could happen. Manager $25/hour, Senior $23/hour, Juniors $20/hour. Total $3520, an increase of $800 per week. Yeah right.

So what do we do to avoid going broke? We let one staff member go. Multiply that a few thousand times and what is also increased exponentially? Unemployment! Less jobs for school leavers as who wants to pay $20 for the unskilled. Higher pay will mean more tax for the government but they had best start saving big time for ACC because when the minimum wage goes up to $20 hour so do all the ACC levies and consequently ACC claims from the lower end labouring positions. I've no doubt some will again be paying cash under the table to avoid paying PAYE and will again open up the market for ‘cashies’.

The other thing is the idea of free university fees for the first year. Germany had a brief flirtation with such a scheme. Students who would not normally have gone chose Uni because it was free. Treating it as a gap year they wasted everyone’s time and money. Some went the next year and bombed out which, in the case of New Zealand, would leave thousands unskilled and without work but then be of an age suitable to draw a benefit of some kind. A much better scheme would be to give students a free ride for their third or graduation year having already proved they are going to value the handout.

Neither effect me directly and maybe I’m over-thinking things but I see a potential for disaster if such impositions are made without careful consideration.


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