Monday, February 23, 2004

Delivering real progress

Obviously I'm pissed off with the government over a lot of things at the moment: Ahmed Zaoui, tightening of immigration rules (and forcibly deporting people in need), the "jobs jolt" and its return to mean-spirited beneficiary bashing of the 90's, various bits of legislation that erode civil liberties, and having a bar of the police's demand to be allowed to kill people in secret. But one thing I can't fault them on is their record on social issues. We now have legal recognition of de-facto relationships and of gay parents, a families commission with a more inclusive definiton of "family" than "mom, dad, and 2.5 kids", and a civil unions bill on the way. But more importantly, they're raising the minimum wage again. This is the fourth time Labour has done this, and in the process they've increased the wages of bottom income earners by almost 30%, from $7/hr in 2000 to $9/hr soon. Labour has at least delivered real progess in that area.

And the best bit? Every time the right has warned of armageddon if they're forced to pay people a little bit more, and every time it has completely failed to eventuate. Suck on that, BRT!