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October 15, 2012 | by  | in Opinion |
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Partisan Hacks

Salient asked, “What has been the most important issue of the year?” The Hacks respond…

act on campus – michael warren

ACT on Campus focuses on issues that affect young people in New Zealand, and with that view we think that the most important issue is youth unemployment (now at 17 per cent). The problem is that most young workers are yet to build up productive value, which is what employers get in return for the wage they give. Present minimum wage rules mean that undeveloped value is a disincentive to to employ young workers. Thanks to ACT, the government will reinstate a youth minimum wage to restore the incentive for businesses to build up the work experience of young workers so they can get ahead on their own efforts. For students, that means real world experience and more income than the allowance.

vic labour – chelsea torrence

Inequality isn’t new, however, throughout 2012, we’ve seen it become more prevalent. It’s the most important political issue of the year. As a society, we’re only as strong as the weakest links among us. If we want NZ to be fairer and more equal, we can’t be so without helping our most vulnerable. This year we’ve witnessed the Government’s inaction while kids go to school without lunch. They’ve made it harder for beneficiaries during high unemployment. Now they want to cut wages for young people and make it harder to get a student allowance making access to tertiary education harder. With an exodus of Kiwis heading to Australia, the Government needs to stop hurting at start helping.

greens@vic – harriet farquar

The issue which has mobilised New Zealanders this year is the Government plan to sell our state assets. The Keep Our Assets coalition has 270,000 petition signatures calling for a referendum, and counting! So why hold onto our state assets? These SOEs are some of our highest earning assets. National is planning to sell companies with shareholder returns of 18.5%, all to avoid borrowing costs to the government of around 4%. Selling these assets to reduce debt will actually cost the Government money. Looking forward, our state owned energy companies hold great potential as export opportunities. Clean energy expertise is becoming increasingly sought after worldwide, and we are perfectly placed to sell it. Why throw that away? If you haven’t yet signed the petition, get onto it!

vic nats – christian hermansen

The Vic Nats have been active around many important issues this year. We lobbied MPs to keep the drinking age 18 and campaigned for same sex marriage, two issues very important to our diverse membership and to all young New Zealanders.
We believe strongly that 18 year olds are responsible enough to make their own decisions and it would be unconscionable to bar them from formalising their love, or having a beer. We are proud of the great number of National MPs who supported this, but we also acknowledge those who disagreed but took the time to hear all sides of these debates—often lost in the partisan hackery is the need for these debates to be had in an open and respectful fashion.

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About the Author ()

Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

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