Figures released today showing a record number of Kiwis left for Australia in the last year are a result of the government’s lack of a plan for a high wage, high skill economy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union.
EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says the government’s ‘hands off’ approach to the economy isn’t working.
"The National Party campaigned strongly on closing the wage gap with Australia and stemming the exodus of Kiwis across the Tasman, but in government they’ve presided over a growing wage gap and a lost generation of Kiwi workers.
"New Zealand will only ever catch Australia if we have a government that’s willing to support a modern, innovative manufacturing sector that creates good, secure, high-paying jobs.
"That means providing practical support for the manufacturing sector, taking action to bring the exchange rate under control, and supporting employment laws that reduce inequality and empower working New Zealanders to get a fair share of growing productivity.
"This record exodus to Australia shows National’s ‘hands off’ approach isn’t working, and after four years it’s time for the government to take responsibility, change course and come up with a plan to lift wages."
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