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Tax Cuts a Bitter Pill for Low Paid Education Work

Tax Cuts a Bitter Pill for Low Paid Education Workers

The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says many low paid education workers will end up worse off after today’s tax cuts and GST increase.

The majority of school support staff such as teacher aides, administrators and librarians who work at the frontline of education earn between $14-16 an hour. Most work part-time as schools have to ration their hours and they only get paid during term time.

NZEI says many have done the maths and have realised that in reality they will gain nothing from the tax cuts and could actually end up worse off.

A teacher aide who works 20 hours a week at $15.20 an hour and earns an annual salary of $13,376 will get an extra $5.14 a week but with extra GST calculated, their net gain is 14c a week and $7.28 for the year. In contrast the Prime Minister John Key who earns an annual salary of about $375,000 will be $7,100 a year better off.

NZEI National Executive member Gaye Parlane says the situation is an insult to those low paid workers already struggling to make ends meet.

“These people are frontline workers who are pivotal to teaching and learning in schools. They are the ones who deserve to see some real benefit from any tax cuts, but instead they will end up the biggest losers. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”

The GST increase could also cost some support staff in terms of their job conditions and security.

“We have already heard stories of teacher aides having their hours cut as some schools prepare for the hike in GST and increased costs,” says Mrs Parlane.

“The government is again showing it has no commitment to improving the daily lives of low paid workers who have to stand by and watch the benefits of the government’s tax package being awarded to others.”


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