By now most Kiwibank customers will have had their email from CEO Paul Brock telling them he wanted them “to be the first to hear the big news”. Though most would have already read about it in their daily newspaper.
The big news is that the ACC investment fund and the National Superannuation Fund have bought a 47% stake in Kiwibank. Evidently Kiwibank customers are expected to be over the moon with this deal.
Sorry Mr Brock, don’t expect us to join the celebrations. Kiwibank as we know it has gone. Continue reading →
The Minister of Social Development is clearly gearing up for TISA, (trades in services agreement). She announced recently that she was considering opening up government-funded social services to profit-making businesses – in other words, multinational corporations. Corporates seeking guaranteed profits from government coffers instead of gambling on the share markets or currency trading. Continue reading →
It is ironic that New Zealanders are holding a discussion about our national flag, the symbol of our sovereignty, when our government is handing our country to multi national corporations, quite literally on a plate.
The recent push by crown entity Health Benefits Ltd to have all hospital and community food services such as Meals on Wheels provided by Compass Group nationwide is part of a concerted effort to open up public services to multi national corporations. Continue reading →
Not one but two trade deals, the TPP and TISA (Trade in Services Agreement) are percolating over the holiday period. The TPP will allow corporates to set the rules for over 40% of world trade. TISA will break open financial and other services, even essential infrastructure and social services, to make it easier for corporates to come in and take control, profits, and our privacy off to whatever tax haven they are registered in. Continue reading →
“Selling some of your unwanted possessions on eBay or Craigslist could bring in some quick cash.” is apparently the advice offered on the subject of ‘Digging Out From Holiday Debt’ by McDonald’s McResource Line. McResource Line is a website the company runs to provide its U.S. employees with financial and health-related tips.
It seems the National government has taken their advice to heart, except that it’s not unwanted holiday gifts they are selling off, it’s our essential assets; such as power companies carefully built up by previous generations of taxpaying New Zealanders so that everyone could afford to heat their homes. Continue reading →
The government has told us repeatedly it can’t intervene in decisions of private companies or even State Owned Enterprises. It said it couldn’t possibly direct KiwiRail to build its rolling stock at Hillside Workshops, even though KiwiRail is actually owned by the government and hundreds of jobs were lost. It says it certainly can’t ensure that aged care workers receive a living wage, even though the government pays the full cost of service provision and has to top up the low wages with the likes of accommodation supplements and working for families tax credits.
However it appears that the government can intervene to make sure Chorus shareholders don’t miss out on any dividends. It is considering simply overruling the Commerce Commission decision that found Chorus was overpricing its copper wire network and consumers were paying too much for the internet services. Continue reading →
The Alliance Party is pleased that Labour Party leader David Shearer has pledged to reduce the price of electricity if elected next year, and looks forward to details about how this will be achieved. Continue reading →
Prime Minister John Key says that the sale of our electricity companies is on again. Good news for the wealthy few Mums and Dads with enough spare money to invest, bad news for the rest of us. Ever-increasing power price hikes are all most families have to look forward to. Continue reading →
The government says domestic power prices will not rise steeply if shares are sold in the three publicly owned power companies, but can they guarantee it? And what if they are wrong? This has the Alliance Party worried, according to co leader Kay Murray.
I urge the government to tell the Aged Care Association and Terranova Homes and Care Ltd not to appeal the ruling of the Employment Court on the application of the Equal Pay Act to the wages of aged care workers.
Unfortunately because this work has largely been performed by kind hearted women, care workers are amongst the lowest paid workers in New Zealand. Care workers pay rates do not reflect the value of the work performed nor do they reflect the value society should place on our elderly receiving the best standards of care and attention.
The Employment Court ruling will change aged care for the better. It is a landmark decision and cause for celebration.
I accept that current funding levels may not be adequate for organizations to comply with the Employment Court ruling. However this is a separate issue that needs to be addressed by the government in purchasing agreements with aged care service providers. It should not be used as a reason to appeal the ruling.
New Zealanders have made it clear they want our elderly to have the best of care. I feel they would have no issue with the government paying the increased costs out of taxpayers funding if it meant aged care workers received the pay they deserve for the valuable work that they do.