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After a year of hard Labour you're $400 worse off

Bill English National Finance Spokesman

12 February 2001

After a year of hard Labour you're $400 worse off

"The latest wage figures, released today, indicate that the average worker lost more than 400 dollars worth of spending power in the year 2000," National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

"Average ordinary time weekly earnings did not keep pace with inflation, rising only 0.9% in the December quarter, to be up 2.8% over the year. With inflation currently at 4%, average real earnings declined 1.2% in the year to December 2000.

"That means the Labour Government, in its first full year in power, has reduced the average worker's real earnings by just over $400 for the year.

"If you assume a weekly grocery bill of $113.50, the figure arrived at in the 1997/98 Household Expenditure Survey, that leaves the average worker nearly a months worth of grocery shopping worse off.

"By contrast during the last term of the previous Government real wages increased for the average worker by $1900, more than $600 a year.

"Working families voted Labour because they thought they would be better off. When they get to the checkout they're now finding out they're worse off," Mr English said.


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