I thank Alaire Dunlop for her response (Letters, October 18). I hope we all give to our ability to help others less fortunate but it does show how the prime minister is so out of touch with the people struggling at the bottom of the monetary scale.
New Zealand claims it needs to train a skilled workforce; if so there will be a cost to meet. Cutting the basic rate to $10.80 is a small adjustment, from the Government's and employers' point of views.
From the other end of the scale, it is a large proportion of the weekly wage. To extend it for six months is unfair. What is the function of this exercise? Will it generate more real jobs, will people gain training? The difference between the two rates of pay is so small on an individual scale, employers will not invent jobs if they are not there.
For young people it is a discouragement and will push them towards living on their wits, possibly at a far greater cost to the state in future. The Government should look at the imbalance between the top and bottom of the system. The ordinary working New Zealander is not rewarded with extraordinary bonuses and salaries.
A reappraisal of this system would bring far more money back into building our weak economy.
- Kapiti Observer