Monday, May 17, 2021

When the government says "can't", they really mean "we chose not to"

Nurses are going on strike next month for better pay. And honestly, they deserve it, after how hard they worked to keep us all safe during the pandemic. But "Labour" Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pleading poverty and says the government can't afford to reward them:

Tensions are continuing to escalate as ongoing pay negotiations with the nursing workforce fail to reach a resolution, with the Prime Minister arguing she isn't in a position to reward everyone who rolled up their sleeves during the pandemic.


"This is the difficulty of having this job. I also have to have an eye to whether or not everything we do is sustainable, and I have to have an eye to issues like inequality and poverty - and there's only so much capacity we have right now," Ardern said.

"COVID has cost this country a lot. As much as I would wish to be in a position to be able to reward everyone who has worked so hard, I have to keep that in mind as well - I can't."

But how much money the government has is determined by tax rates, and is basicly a political choice. Our government has chosen to starve itself of revenue so they "can't" pay public servants properly; they have chosen to underpay these people. And when the people making that decision are all paid more than quarter of a million a year, it looks more than a little self-interested. To say it nakedly, Cabinet Ministers choose to underpay public servants so they don't have to pay more in tax (or capital gains on their investment properties, or whatever). Even under Labour, its a government of the rich, by the rich, which seems to be for the rich as well.