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Hayden Shearman shares some reflections on what the newly elected government means for business owners.
Winston has finally decided on his teammates. Yay! His decision means the arrival of a left-leaning government for the first time in almost a decade. For many business owners who are new in the game, this presents a foreign political landscape in which to do business. So is this a “Yay!” for business?
Well, so far, Jacinda and her new team mates haven’t put a lot of detail to their pre-election promises, but, as a general rule, a left-of-centre government means more tax, increases in minimum wages, tighter restrictions around employment and other business practices, and a government playing a more heavy handed role in the mechanics of the economy. As such, it’s easy to understand why so many business owners vote right. So, today, as we celebrate the arrival Labour Weekend, it can seem like uncertain weather is on the horizon for the New Zealand business community.
However, before we go writing off the next three years, let’s analyse what has actually been promised.
Yesterday, Jacinda Ardern referenced her pre-election plan for Labour’s first 100 days in office, saying, “Labour will take urgent action in its first 100 days in office to expand support for families and students, make rental homes warm and dry, find solutions to the mental health crisis and accelerate efforts to clean up our waterways”. So, not a lot that’s going to have a major impact on business early on (aside from those businesses contributing to the country’s water quality issues).
Similarly, Winston Peters has noted that much of NZ First’s decision to run with Labour was around issues of affordable housing, immigration, equality, and stabilising the economy.
Analysts are saying that, from what we know, we might see:
An important objective in Labour’s pre-election 100-day plan is the following:
“Increase the minimum wage to $16.50/hour, to take effect April 1, 2018, and introduce new industrial relations legislation.”
While it’s not clear whether the Greens and NZ First will agree to this exact figure at this exact date, minimum wage increases and employment legislation changes have to be in the pipeline.
So, there you are. There are pros and cons awaiting business owners and our recommendation is to keep your ear to the ground for concrete announcements of changes that will affect your business and make some tweaks to your business in case they do go ahead. Of which, here are some quick tips:
At Strategy Collective we have people ready to assist with your finance, strategy and HR challenges and opportunities. And of course, the best way to fend off the unknown is to build your customer base so getting in touch with our Brand and Marketing team isn’t a bad idea either! Give us a bell on 06 759 7044.
Have a restful Labour Weekend everyone!