“With the horticulture industry struggling for workers, the time for a Universal Basic Income is now” says The Opportunities Party.
The Opportunities Party says a Universal Basic Income will encourage locals to do seasonal work.
AUCKLAND – 26 February 2021:
The Minister for Immigration is now warning New Zealand businesses to not expect the large numbers of new migrants seen in recent years, once it reopens the border. Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi is telling businesses that traditionally rely on migrant workers to "think differently about how to do that in the future".
But The Opportunities Party (TOP) says that telling businesses to ‘think differently’ helps no one. “Our horticulture industry cannot think fruit off trees. They need workers” TOP leader, Shai Navot says.
“We need to make it easy for locals to fill the gap in the labour force left by migrant workers” says Navot.
“The way to do that is to give New Zealanders a Universal Basic Income. We can’t expect people to come on and off benefits when they face crushing abatement rates and stand down periods to do seasonal work. A UBI would allow people to take on that seasonal work and be financially rewarded for that effort, and increase the workforce at the same time ” Navot says.
National leader Judith Collins says businesses will “either need to automate, or they will simply downscale and that's what will happen".
Navot says Collins’ response demonstrates a huge lack of imagination. “We have thousands of local people wanting to work and thousands of job vacancies. We need to make it easy for people to earn the income they need and for businesses to meet their skill shortages. A UBI does both” says Navot.