31 May 2008

Political Hypocrisy or Employer Generousity?

Following October 1st new tax rates Mr. Bennett cuts his wages bill.

The Herald on Sunday carried an interesting side bar story which trumpeted the generousity of Pacific Helmets boss, David Bennett. Mr. Bennett was, apparently, incensed that the Budget hadn’t been generous enough so he had decided to pay his employees the extra $14.00 a week they would be receiving from the budget tax cuts from this month.
Mr. Bennett told the Herald on Sunday that as a generous employer he would continue to pay the $14.00 a week until October the 1st when the new tax rate would apply.
What the Herald reporter didn’t ask were three very basic and relevant questions:
First, if Mr. Bennett was prepared to pay his employees $14.00 a week extra why doesn’t he keep paying all his workers at this rate even after the new tax rate kicked in thus demonstrating how much he really values his workers?
Second, as Mr. Bennett is going to stop paying his workers the $14.00 a week after October 1st is his behaviour an indication of future National Party policy.... i.e. with a lowered tax rate employers are not obliged to increase hourly rates or engage in negotiations to improve working conditions or wage rates?
The third question should have been; was Mr. Bennett really engaging in a political stunt on behalf of the National Party rather than being altruistic and honestly rewarding his employees?
Any journalist with a bit of political memory would have known that Mr. Bennett is a prominent member of the Wanganui branch of the National Party and has nominated has a candidate in the past.
If the Herald on Sunday journalist had thought to ask these fundamental questions of David Bennett she would have detected the strong smell of political hypocrisy coming from this declaration of employer generousity.
The Herald should acknowledge the self serving hypocrisy behind Mr. Bennett’s grandstanding and report this story for what it really is - “Tory Supporter Reveals Political Double Standard - Heralds National Party Policy - “Tax cuts mean no wage and salary negotiations under a National Government.” or, more accurately, “Key caught again - secret policy released.”

1 comment:

Brenden Sheehan said...

This is a great post. You should edit it down and send it as a ltter to the editor.