David Seymour: Sick Leave was a $1b Election Bribe

David Seymour: Sick Leave was a $1b Election Bribe

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ACT Leader David Seymour says Labour’s sick leave legislation is a $1b election bribe.

“The Government’s regulatory impact statement says five days’ extra sick leave will have a price tag for businesses of almost $1 billion a year and could reduce the number of jobs being created,” says David Seymour.

“Nowhere does Labour justify this policy with evidence that there isn’t enough sick leave now? It is an election bribe disguised as a health measure, pure and simple. Of course, the real game is that the Government is massively indebted and is now buying votes by making employers pay more sick leave.”

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Seymour says Labour would need to claim that five days off for around 2.7m people.

During COVID-19, 37,000 workers lost employment and Labour is piling new costs on the very job creators that the country needs to support in the present times.

“If 1 April’s minimum wage increase is in line with the previous two hikes, it will cost employers around $270 million and reduce job creation even further. Then there’s a new public holiday and ‘fair pay’ agreements. Who would want to be a business owner right now?,” says David Seymour.

“New Zealand is in recession, and the recovery will be long and fragile. Small businesses can’t afford the costs, and red tape Labour is piling on. The decision to provide part-time and full-time workers with the same amount sick leave will create absurd situations where ‘if an employee worked one day a week, an entitlement to 10 days sick leave would give an employee paid sick leave for 20 per cent of their working year.”

A recovery Labour has responsibility for is to support small businesses and allow them to recover. not kick them in the backside with steel-caps while they’re at their downfalls.

“For a recovery to happen, one New Zealander has to decide to employ another, hundreds of thousands of times over in the coming years. This legislation tips the scales away from recovery. Labour doesn’t understand small business. ACT’s caucus has seven business owners, and we have a real plan to help the economy recover,” says David Seymour.

“We would put a three-year moratorium on raising the minimum wage, reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses, and cut GST to 10 per cent for 12 months.”

Image: Gettyimages

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