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Fifty Cents Won't Go Far, Says Bradford

23 February, 2004

Fifty cents won't go far, says Bradford

The Green Party is welcoming a rise in the minimum wage but questioning why the increase is so small.

"An extra 50 cents an hour will give the lowest-paid people in society just $20 extra a week - and that's before tax," said Green Employment spokesperson, Sue Bradford. "$360 a week gross is nowhere near enough to meet average household spending.

"The Green Party totally supports the Council of Trade Unions and others who are calling on Government to immediately raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour.

"Raising the minimum wage makes sound economic sense. It means more spending on goods and services, which in turn means greater income for employers, increasing their capacity to cope with the wage rise itself, and also raising their potential to take on more staff in the long run.

"While we also applaud a rise in youth rates, we believe the Government should working to phase out rates that discriminate on the basis of age," Sue Bradford said.

"It is archaic and absurd that a 16-year-old checkout operator can earn $1.80 per hour less than an 18-year-old for doing exactly the same job."

ENDS

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