INDEPENDENT NEWS

Alliance Lurks Under Labour’s Facade

Published: Tue 26 Oct 1999 01:22 PM
Alliance MP Laila Harre has again revealed the deception of Labour’s desperate attempts to appear friendly to business, while at the same time promising to return power to unions, Enterprise and Commerce Minister Max Bradford says.
“On Morning Report today Ms Harre said aspects of Labour’s Labour Day ‘workers’ package’ did not go far enough. In doing so she underlined the fact that no matter what Labour says now, it would be dragged to the left by the Alliance if in government after the election.
“Labour is trying to ease the justifiable concerns of business, by issuing do nothing simplistic policies. But the truth is that behind everything Labour says, the Alliance lurks,” Mr Bradford says.
“Labour’s ‘worker’s package’ appeared vaguely new, but a closer inspection revealed it was a “do nothing policy”. Labour says it will review the minimum wage, but it neglected to say that the Government is required to do this every year by legislation.
“If Labour plans to increase the minimum wage, as the Alliance says it must, then it should also admit that by increasing costs to business, it is prepared to see people who need jobs paying the price of continued unemployment.
“Labour also said it would guarantee full-time workers 11 public holidays a year. All full-time workers currently get paid for 11 paid public holidays a year, if they were days on which they would otherwise have worked,” Mr Bradford said.
“This policy, like Labour’s plan to have a Minister of Small Business, is just an attempt to con affected parties.
“The Government already has a Minister for small business - the Minister of Business Development.
“Labour’s plan to simply change the name of an existing portfolio is no compensation for higher taxes and costs, a return to union domination of the workplace and a larger bureaucracy,” Mr Bradford said.
“Rather than putting barriers in front of small business as Labour is planning, the Government has provided assistance to small businesses and entrepreneurs in the regions where it is needed, through the BizInfo programme.
“In the three months to the end of September, BizInfo offices around the country have received more than 4000 calls on 0800 lines asking for advice. BizInfo’s website providing business development information received 1.4 million hits up to September 30.”
ends

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