Employers have slammed the government's scorecard on creating jobs and developing a viable growth agenda, a survey of business owners has found.
The Ernst & Young/Sunday Star-Times Job Creation Survey also indicated how widespread employers' concerns over unemployment and job creation are, with an overwhelming majority expecting it to be a major issue at the next General Election.
The survey participants were owners or managers, mainly mid-market, in a variety of industries nationwide.
It found that just over half of those businesses (54 per cent) had hired someone in the last year, but slightly less than that (51 per cent) intended hiring anyone in the year ahead.
When asked if they thought job creation was the responsibility of the government, the private sector or a combination of both, an overwhelming majority (79 per cent) said both.
However most were unimpressed with the government's contribution to that process.
What's missing is any in indication of whether the employer wants the government to be more active in loosening up employment legislation, wage controls, tax legislation, monetary policy etc. or they want the government to spend more on job creation schemes, wage subsidies, training, start-up subsidies etc.
It's depressing that 79 percent think job creation is both the responsibility of government and the private sector. But if I was answering the question precisely, at this point I'd have to agree. The government and only the government can extract itself from activities that contribute to unemployment and business failure. National has done a few things, for example the 90 day work law, but they need to do far more. Especially big stuff like lowering corporate tax. Not tweeking stuff.
So they can't really win when it comes to a survey like this. Labour supporters and National supporters alike will find fault. But Labour's employment spokesperson, Grant Robertson says:
"We need a hands-on government, not a hands-off one and I think the message from the business people who have been surveyed here is that they think this is a hands-off government that is not playing its part."That's not the message I get. I don't get any clear message because the questions (those reported) weren't specific enough. And he shouldn't take it as a sign employers are so unhappy with the government they will vote to change it.