Sunday, 25 January 2015

Industrial Relations

The Productivity Commission will be examining the Industrial Relations system.

This is no bad thing. It is always good to review how things are going, to see if improvements can be made etc. There is no reason to think the Commission will not do a decent job in examining the present set up.

Critics of the present system such as Steve Kates, Judith Sloan and Gerard Henderson have egg all over their faces. They believe the previous government re-regulated the Industrial Relations systems.
However in the three key areas nothing has changed. We have not seen industrial disputation rise. Wages are not substantially above where we might expect them to be indeed they are growing slower than have ever been recorded and unemployment is not higher than otherwise might have been i.e. the NAIRU has not risen.

I would like to see similar action taken to what the Nationals did in New Zealand when they had only 96 pages of legislation. This improved the flexibility of the labour force , reduced the NAIRU and did not have the intention of destroying trade unions that Work Choices had. Indeed Work Choices was the greatest re-regulation we have witnessed in recent times.

I await the findings with great interest and hope.