The loss of 84 jobs at aviation manufacturer Safe Air shows that action must be taken to revive our struggling exporting manufacturers, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker.
“Safe Air in Blenheim has cut 84 jobs because the dollar is overvalued. That comes on top of the 17,000 jobs lost in the sector last year and this year’s closure of the likes of Summit Wool Spinners.
“We need a strong manufacturing sector to create jobs and higher wages. A job in manufacturing creates between two and five jobs elsewhere in the economy.
“Yesterday Paula Bennett crowed about new jobs coming up at Burger King, Wendy’s and Valentine’s. That’s National’s low-wage economic vision for you right there.
“That’s why there has been a Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing. On Monday Labour and our partners, the Greens, New Zealand First and Mana will launch our report with detailed recommendations. It will be a blueprint for better jobs and higher wages.
“The only manufacturing areas growing are the primary sector – which has received a boost from the drought and early slaughtering of herds – and the construction sector which is rebuilding Christchurch.
“Other manufacturing industries are in dire straits. Outside primary manufacturing exports have dropped by 17 per cent in four years. It is critical that action is taken to grow manufacturing and jobs.
“Our overvalued and volatile dollar must be addressed. The Reserve Bank’s tunnel vision mandate of primacy of inflation must be overhauled so that the dollar and jobs are also priorities.
“This is yet more evidence of National’s two-speed economy where property speculators flourish and the likes of workers at Safe Air suffer.
“Change is needed. It won’t come from National. It will come on Monday,” says David Parker.
14 June 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT