Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Minimum wage rise far too little

21 March 2005

Minimum wage rise far too little

While today’s rise in the minimum wage is welcome, it’s not nearly enough for hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders struggling to make ends meet, the Green Party says.

“The minimum wage should be lifted to $12 an hour for all workers,” said Green Employment Spokesperson Sue Bradford. “Hundreds of thousands of workers are still being expected to survive, and in many cases support their families, on wages that are well under 50 percent of the average wage.

“Raising the minimum wage to at least $12 an hour is a key step that our country needs to take to help lift a generation of children out of poverty. I call on the Government to have the courage of its convictions and take a somewhat bolder step than the one which took effect today.

“Raising wages would also return people’s dignity. For a variety of reasons, we have large numbers of decent, hardworking people performing important but low-paid roles in our communities. A lot more has to be done to support this group.”

Today, the minimum wage became $9.50 an hour for adults and $7.60 an hour for young people.

“Many in this country do not realise quite how low our wage rates have fallen after 20 years of economic restructuring and massive deunionisation.

“To bring New Zealand workers up to the same level as their Australian counterparts, the minimum rate would need to be more than $13 an hour. To bring the level up to 50 percent of the average New Zealand wage, they would need to receive at least $11.05 an hour.”

Ms Bradford said employers should be forced to pay more towards what it costs people to provide themselves and their families with basic food, clothing and shelter, rather than relying on the massive taxpayer subsidies currently provided.

“At a time when many employers have difficulty finding staff, it is ridiculous that minimum wages remain so low, and that the Government has to spend so much taxpayer money in corporate welfare, propping up employers through various forms of family support and the accommodation supplement.

“I’d have more sympathy for politicians calling for tax cuts if they also called for minimum wages to be raised to a level where less corporate welfare was required.”

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>

ALSO:

Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news