The Benign Neglect of the Free Market
Nuplex joins a long line of other industries, manufacturers, retailers, government departments, SOEs, etc, who plan to shed jobs,
The announcement of redundancies adds to a shocking list of job losses this year alone,
- ANZ; 1,000 redundancies
- Wire by Design, 55 redundancies
- Hakes Marine; 15 redundancies
- Telecom; 400 redundancies
- Brightwater Engineering; 40 redundancies
- Pernod Ricard New Zealand; 13 redundancies
- Depart of Corrections; 130 redundancies
- Summit Wool Spinners; 80 redundancies
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 80 redundancies
- Cavalier/Norman Ellison Carpets; 70 redundancies
- IRD; 51 redundancies
- Flotech; 70 redundancies
- NZ Police; 125 redundancies
- CRI Plant and Food; 25 redundancies
- Te Papa; 16 redundancies (?)
- PrimePort Timaru; 30 redundancies
- Kiwirail; 158 redundancies
- Fisher & Paykel; 29 redundancies
- Goulds Fine Foods; 60 redundancies
- Canterbury University; 150 redundancies (over three years)
- Solid Energy;
363 redundancies460 redundancies
- Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter; 100 redundancies
- Axiam Metals; 44 redundancies
- Norske Skog; 120 redundancies
- Goodman Fielder; redundancy numbers t.b.a.
- Dunedin City Council/Delta: 30 redundancies
- Blue Sky Meats; 100 redundancies
- Kaipara Ltd/Stockton Alliance; 63 redundancies
- Wainuiomata New World; 44 redundancies
- Nuplex; 64 redundancies
- Newmont Waihi Gold; 20 redundancies
- Ministry of Justice; 70-200 redundancies
- Salisbury School in Nelson and McKenzie Residential School in Christchurch; 90 redundancies
- Rakon; 60 redundancies
What sets Nuplex’s announcement apart from others was this extraordinary statement from New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association president, Brian Willoughby,
“New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association president Brian Willoughby said Nuplex’s decision would have come after all other options were exhausted. “Nuplex would have been working really hard to be as effective as it could, like the other companies that have announced these closures and layoffs. This is the end game – they can’t make it work.”
He said the Government, and past governments, clearly understood the reasons why manufacturers and exporters were facing such challenges.
“They have all operated with benign neglect and let it get to this,” said Willoughby. “There are so many buttons that could be pushed.”
He said the Reserve Bank could lower interest rates, which would help keep the New Zealand dollar’s strength in check.”
“Benign neglect“, Willoughby calls it.
Another term is the free market in full operation.
Were it not for the fact that thousands of New Zealanders are losing their jobs on a weekly basis, pushing up the unemployment rate, I would find Willoughby’s remarks laughable.
Businessmen and women are quick off the mark to demand less State interference and more market de-regulation to suit their vision of a pure free market.
Both National and Labour governments have been happy to comply, reducing company tax rates, as well as personal marginal tax rates for high income earners.
In the last four years, company tax rates have been slashed from 33% to 28%.
Industrial labour “reforms” have included the 90 Day “trial rate” to allow employers to take on more staff more easily (and still unemployment is rising?!) since 1 Aprl last year.
And FTA deals are being planned all over the place.
If National was any more “business friendly”, politicians would be literally climbing into bed and sleeping with business people. (No inferences made.)
And business sector groups are now whinging that past governments “ have all operated with benign neglect “?!
As if Brian Willoughby’s whining wasn’t enough, Catherine Beard, executive director of Manufacturing NZ, made this stomach-churning complaint,
” She said measures the Government could take to address the strong dollar included reducing debt, to take the pressure off interest rates, and putting an end to “poor quality spending” such as Working for Families and student loans. “
Yeah. Why should families raising kids and young people starting out in life get all the breaks, huh?
I look forward to Ms Beard advocating an end to namby-pamby laws protecting workers’ conditions so that children can have real choices in life.
Like whether to work in sweat shops or clean the insides of chimneys.
Choice is important.
= fs =