“Michael Wood has launched yet another attack on New Zealand businesses, this time blaming hospitality businesses for chronic workforce shortages caused by his government,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“Minister Wood told the NZ Herald that businesses struggling with chronic workforce shortages are doing so due to “low wages with insecure working conditions.”

“The actual reasons businesses are struggling so much to find staff are over the top isolation periods and an inability to bring in overseas workers amid visa processing times that have blown out by months.

“It beggars belief that, as the Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood is lumping billions in new costs on to businesses, and as Immigration Minister he’s lecturing businesses to increase wages.

“The hospitality industry was decimated by COVID-19. Instead of supporting them Labour responded by lumping them with cost after cost - increases in minimum wage, so called “fair pay” agreements, another public holiday, the highest alcohol excise increase in 30 years, and last week they revealed they intend to block my practical Easter Trading law reform bill from going further.

”How does Minister Wood expect businesses to grow when Labour is forcing them to shoulder more costs at every opportunity?

“ACT will stand up for New Zealand businesses. We will:

  • Reverse the Government’s workplace relations changes, including Matariki, or swap it for one of the other existing statutory holidays
  • Repeal “Fair Pay” Agreements
  • Reverse new sick leave entitlements
  • Reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses
  • Pause minimum wage increases for three years

“ACT has employers’ backs. We know they need tax and regulation relief and will fight on their behalf for more sensible, sustainable economic policies so they can grow their businesses and employ more New Zealanders.”

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