EPMU calls on government to support Reserve Bank reform

16 August, 2012

The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union is calling on the government to back Winston Peters' private member's bill to reform the Reserve Bank Act as a step towards building a high skill, high wage economy.

The bill  would require the Reserve Bank to take economic growth, the value of the dollar and the impact on employment into account when it sets interest rates, rather than focusing solely on inflation.

It follows a speech by Labour finance spokesperson David Parker to the EPMU this morning reiterating Labour's support for reforming the Reserve Bank Act as part of its vision to build a productive, high wage manufacturing sector.

EPMU national secretary Bill Newson says the Reserve Bank's narrow focus on inflation is holding back the New Zealand economy.

"Everyone who has seen the series of factory closures and redundancies in recent months knows there's something deeply wrong with our current policy settings.

"Business after business is telling our union that the volatile and overvalued New Zealand dollar is the single biggest factor making them uncompetitive internationally, and we see the results every day in the form of redundancies and lost opportunities.

"The fact is the level of the New Zealand dollar can be the difference between a thriving business that's employing new staff and a struggling business that's making redundancies.

"The future of New Zealand has to lie in a modern, innovative manufacturing sector that creates good, secure, high-paying jobs, and bringing the exchange rate under control is critical if we're going to achieve that.

"If the government is serious about lifting our exports and growing Kiwi wages then it needs to accept the status quo isn't working and support this bill."

ENDS

For more information contact:

Bill Newson, EPMU national secretary: 027 538 4246
Neale Jones, EPMU communications director: 027 276 5146