Press Release – ACT New Zealand
ACT Leader John Banks criticised the Government’s proposed taxation of employer-supplied car parks in Auckland and Wellington for being petty” telling the NZ Herald that “it just doesn’t make sense and hes very hopeful that it’s …
March 15 2013
The Week That Was
Government’s Proposed Car Park Tax Petty
ACT Leader John Banks criticised the Government’s proposed taxation of employer-supplied car parks in Auckland and Wellington for being “petty” – telling the NZ Herald that “it just doesn’t make sense” and he’s “very hopeful that it’s going to run out of steam.”
If National don’t pull it, ACT could be forced to vote against it as it forms part of our Confidence and Supply agreement. But Banks hopes it will be withdrawn before it comes to that.
Mr Banks said, “I think it is very damaging for small business, particularly in CBD Wellington or Auckland. CBD Auckland is struggling. Small business in the Queen St and precincts are really hurting. It is not easy.”
To read more click here
Starting Out Wage Good Step, But Not Far Enough
Yesterday, National’s Starting Out Wage Bill – which introduces a partial return to a youth wage rate – had its second reading in the House.
ACT has campaigned for the reinstatement of a youth minimum wage since it was first abolished in 2008. While we support the bill as it is a step in the right direction we don’t think it goes far enough. The timeframes are too short and the time someone has to spend on the dole before becoming re-eligible for the starting out wage is too long.
We think it more important for young people to get a foot on the employment ladder than to be forced to sit at home learning nothing and earning nothing or at best $4.50 an hour on the dole.
We can do better than that for our young people!
Engaging in part time work means they will gain skills and experience that will provide them with better career prospects and better wages down the track.
You can see ACT Leader John Banks speak on the bill here.
Youth Wage – NBR
Last week the NBR published an article by ACT Leader John Banks on youth unemployment. He said:
Statistics New Zealand put youth unemployment at 30.9 per cent for the December quarter – that’s the highest rate on record for more than 30 years.
In the late 1990s, when the youth minimum wage was 60 per cent of the adult rate, the youth unemployment rate was about six percentage points higher than that for 20-24 year-olds. In December 2012, the difference between the adult and youth unemployment rate was three times higher at 18.5 percentage points.
Labour progressively lifted the youth minimum wage up to the adult minimum wage between 2000 and 2008. A massive increase in the proportion of 15-19 year olds seeking work fruitlessly is the result.
What other explanations might there be for the stark fact that in December 2012, 41,500 New Zealanders aged 15-19 wanted a job, but couldn’t find one?
We can’t blame weakness in overseas markets. Prices for primary products are holding up and our terms of trade remain high.
We can’t blame high interest rates. They are at 50-year lows.
We can’t blame lack of stimulus from government spending. Government spending has been running at 33-35 per cent of GDP, up from 29-30 per cent of GDP a decade ago.
We can’t blame recession. Treasury is forecasting that this year will be the 3rd successive year of positive economic growth.
We can blame a lack of a basic standard of literacy and numeracy, an enormous handicap for nearly 20 per cent of school-leavers. A high minimum wage relative to the productivity of this group is almost guaranteed to ensure their unemployment.
To read the whole article, click here
In Other News…
Calling All Future Politicians In The Making – Represent Epsom in the 2013 Youth Parliament
Youth Parliament 2013, July 16-17 in Wellington, gives young New Zealanders an opportunity to share their views with the country’s decision-makers, and learn first-hand about New Zealand’s democracy.
As a Youth MP you will get to debate legislation, sit on Select Committees and participate in question time.
John Banks wants to hear from young people from the Epsom electorate who would like to be considered.
“This is a unique opportunity, not just to get an inside look into the workings of Parliament, but to be actively involved,” Mr Banks said.
Applications close on the 29th March 2013.
Nominated Youth MPs will hold the title from 1 May to 31 December 2013.
To be eligible, applicants must be aged 16-18 and must provide the following information:
• Date of birth
• Phone number
• Email address
• Name of the school they attend
Applicants should outline in approximately 150-300 words why they want to be Epsom’s Youth Member of Parliament. John would like to know about the issues they are passionate about, the activities or community groups they are currently involved in, what they would like to achieve if selected. Finally, applicants should outline what they believe is the biggest issue facing New Zealand today and what they would propose to solve the problem.
Applications should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hon John Banks, MP for Epsom, PO Box 9209, Newmarket 1149
Catherine Isaac on Partnership Schools and the OIA
Today on Kiwiblog, Partnership School Working Group Chairwoman Catherine Isaac gave her views on why Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua should not be subject to the OIA and explains how the new schools will be more accountable.
Read Catherine’s contribution here
Catherine also featured in the NZ Herald where she outlines the success Partnership Schools (also known as Free Schools or Charter Schools) have had overseas.
You can read that here