Thursday, May 07, 2009

National isn't working

Since coming to power, National has made a lot of noise about how it will protect jobs and take the harsh edges off the recession. But when the photo-op is done and the media have turned their attention elsewhere, the actual implementation of their policies either ends up not happening, or being a tiny fraction of what was promised. The result is that National's job-protection policies have failed already - and that failure can be seen in today's Household Labour Force Survey.

Unemployment hits 5% for the first time in six years, and 17,000 jobs disappeared from the economy, with 24,000 people giving up on the labour force rather than subjecting themselves to the institutionalised humiliation of WINZ. And those are the seasonally adjusted figures; the actual numbers are worse, but at this stage the effects of the recession are being partly masked by the regular March-quarter uptick; they'll probably be revised upwards at a later date.

National isn't responsible for the recession. But they are responsible for how they handle it. And so far, their handling has been dismal. Underneath he spin, their "solution" is to leave the market to sort itself out. And if that means that tens of thousands of kiwis lose their jobs, well, that's just the price of running the economy in favour of the rich.