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Wages key to closing income gap

Wages key to closing income gap

The Trans Tasman Transport Unions Alliance is backing up the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s call that wages are the source of the income gap with Australia, following a successful initiative in the oil & gas industry, and says similar moves for pay parity with Australia are afoot in the transport sector.

“The sooner our national debate shifts from tax cuts to wages the better,” said Karl Andersen, spokesperson for the Trans Tasman Transport Unions Alliance.

“Just last week the OECD confirmed New Zealand tax on wages is among the lowest of OECD countries already.”

“Australian workers’ wages are much higher than ours, and their effective wage packets will be also be boosted when employer superannuation contributions increase from 9 to 12 per cent. And they have rejected an increase in GST from its current 10 percent level.”

“And what’s New Zealand’s response? Further tax cuts for the wealthy, a GST rise for the poor, employer KiwiSaver contributions at 2 per cent down from 4 per cent and static wages are not going to help most New Zealanders catch up with Australian incomes.”

“Transport unions will campaign hard to close the gap with Australian incomes through the best way possible, which is by getting firms to lift wages,” Karl Andersen said.

Karl Andersen said that seven transport unions in New Zealand and Australia last month joined forces to run coordinated campaigns in support of decent wages and workers rights along supply chains and transport hubs in multinational companies.

ENDS

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