National Government responsible for mass unemployment, not unemployed Kiwis

The Maritime Union of New Zealand has denounced attacks on unemployed New Zealand workers by the National Government.
John Key and Paula Bennett today announced plans to make life harder for the unemployed –at the same time that unemployment is at its highest since the dark days of the last National Government in the 1990s.
Maritime Union General Secretary Joe Fleetwood says many things are responsible for high unemployment in New Zealand, including the global recession, the instability of a deregulated economy, and a National Government with no ideas.
However, unemployed New Zealanders were not one of the major causes of unemployment.
“There may be a few people who want to stay unemployed, living on the poverty line. But there are tens of thousands more wanting work who can’t find it, shouldn’t we be helping them instead of blaming them?”
He says to put the boot into unemployed people when many had already suffered the effects of redundancy were the despicable actions of a heartless Government, attempting to whip up resentment between those in work against those without.
Mr Fleetwood says that with unemployment peaking recently at nearly 70 000, National was anxious to deflect the blame from their economic policies onto the victims of their policies.
“It’s not like we suddenly had thirty thousand people get lazy overnight and say, oh, I can’t be bothered working anymore, I’d prefer to be stuck on a benefit struggling to put food on the table.”
Mass unemployment means that tens of thousands of New Zealanders are unable to contribute to their society and are forced to accept miserable benefits to survive, which was an indictment on the free market economy.
“National don’t care about the human cost, but surely they must at least realize how inefficient it is.”
He says the Maritime Union has identified two areas where jobs could be created for New Zealanders immediately.
He says that New Zealand coastal shipping could provide jobs but was currently dominated by global shippers who paid no taxes in New Zealand but were permitted to move cargo on the New Zealand coast.
In addition, local workers had been forced out of the fishing industry by employers who chose to employ low wage overseas crews from poor countries.
Mr Fleetwood says the Maritime Union would defend all working class New Zealanders from attacks by the National Government.
“It is time to fight back against this Government’s anti-worker agenda.”

ENDS

For more information, contact Maritime Union of New Zealand General Secretary Joe Fleetwood on 021364649

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