Wednesday, November 14, 2012

More autocracy

Consultation is one of the core underlying concepts of our democracy. When the government makes a decision, it is supposed to consult those interested or affected. So naturally, National is seeking to reduce consultation requirements around setting the minimum wage:

The Government is being accused of silencing the voice of low-paid workers through plans to streamline the way the minimum wage is assessed and set every year.

The Government considers public submissions when it reviews the minimum wage every December.

It also takes into account more than 20 factors including: unemployment, productivity, inflation and the principles of fairness, protection, income distribution and work incentives. The impact on new migrants, women, Maori, Pacific people, the disabled and part-time workers is also considered.

It is understood the Government wants to reduce that to four factors: inflation, wage growth based on the medium wage, employment and the impact on jobs, and ''other factors'' which could include changing conditions.

It also wants to only consider public submissions every four years but will consult Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions annually.

And the reason for this of course is so they can ignore the voices of those affected, and the issues which they are excluding: things like fairness, equality, and the status of women and ethnic groups. because obviously, none of that matters when setting a minimum wage. its typically autocratic - but so very, very National.