Labour Party considering training levy.

The New Zealand labour party that is. Their finance spokesman, Grant Robertson, said that “Immigration, skilled workers will always be part of the mix but we’ve got to do a better job of training New Zealanders”. I believe this would not affect the arrival of seasonal labour, essentially Pacific Islanders, who come to bring the fruit crop under what is widely regarded as a well targeted and well administered scheme set up specifically for that purpose.

There are the same concerns here in New Zealand, and in Australia, over the levels of low wage immigration, as there are in the UK. And there are some pretty Trump’esque solutions on offer. The opposition coalition in Australia proposed last week “to deny asylum to any asylum seeker who has been judged to have purposely destroyed their identity documents”. Maybe those arriving in Australia are different, but I doubt that that identity documents would be top of my list of concerns if I were fleeing the fighting in Syria.

The scheme being considered by the Labour Party would charge all businesses this levy, unless they were providing approved training to their employees. Which strikes me as just the kind of sensible sounding, do-gooding proposal that we are so familiar with in the UK. And it will come with the support of the same kind of crony corporatist elite that have been making such a mess of running the EU and the UK. Big companies love this kind of stuff, because they know that it will hammer small businesses.

Fortunately, in New Zealand this kind of proposal is very unlikely ever to come into effect. New Zealand recently came top in a Forbes list of the best countries in which to do business. And New Zealand is not going to allow proposals like this to jeopardise that reputation.

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