Sunday, March 1, 2009

Jobs summit's three ideas

The accommodation industry has a vested interest on what measures the government impose on employer/employee relations.

It was disappointing that right from the outset any meaningful amendments in the Employment Relations and Holidays Act etc were sidelined for short term quirky simplistic ideas that would be able to be easily digested by the media and create feelgood headlines.

The top three ideas were:
  • A nine-day working fortnight - The taxpayer will provide paid training subsidies for businesses.
  • An equity investment fund to be set up with government and private banks as partners to provide businesses access to share capital.
  • A cycleway the length of New Zealand - Surprisingly this is the most wackiest idea and appears to be a sentimental favorite of John Key!
We liked the post from Cactus Kate that describes the cycleway as:
"...a crazy watermelon (green on outside, pink in middle) of an idea."
We can't agree more! Cactus goes on the say:
"The only thing that deserves to be built down the length of New Zealand is a 4 lane a side autobahn so New Zealanders can exercise their true love - CARS. That's about as realistic as the snail trail.
Tourist chiefs are all excited but lets look at the quality of tourist who rides a bike? Backpackers and low end Teva sandal wearers who take pride in not showering for days on end. I guess Air New Zealand can bring them to New Zealand on budget airfares which would have excited Rob Fyfe in the audience but there is only one way I would support a snail trail."
In addition, Key has also signaled acceptance of further funding for tourism in the form of a public-private fund. This is an interesting strategy and we look forward as to how this may take shape.

It is easy for the tourism industry to simply demand more funding from the Government. However when the industry is required to make a financial contribution as a partner, then any marketing proposals will be given greater scrutiny before commitment and outcomes will be keenly measured.

Small business owners should at least take heart in John Key's concluding comments at the Jobs Summit:
"I have heard a lot of good ideas from firms today about regulation, and how the Government could ease this burden. I want to say that we are right behind that.

In particular I want to endorse the recommendation made by one of the work streams that the next two years is not the time to be adding to business costs through regulation. There has to be a very high hurdle for new regulation and we need to be thinking much harder of removing and refining existing regulations."
To read the Prime Minister's concluding speech at the Job Summit, click HERE

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