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Brash 'hardcore hard right-winger' says Key

13 September 2006

Brash 'hardcore hard right-winger' says Key

In a clear bid for leadership of the National Party, MP John Key says in a radio interview he believes the minimum wage should keep rising and implied that Dr Brash is one of the 'hard right wingers' who believes in getting rid of the minimum wage altogether.

In a move to distance himself from the views of Dr Brash and shift National's policy away from the hard right, Mr Key said: "I'm not one of the hardcore, hard right wingers who says 'get rid of the minimum wage; you don’t need it.' Some people take that view, I personally think it has a place and I don’t have problems with it rising."

"Is Mr Key ignorant of his party's hard right wing stance on the minimum wage, or is he attempting to rewrite it as part of his power play for leadership?" says Ruth Dyson.

"I welcome Mr Key's agreement with this Labour-led government's commitment to continue annual adjustments to the minimum wage. Since 1999 this policy has seen the minimum adult wage rise by 46 percent.

"This stands in stark contrast to the last National-led Government, which over nine years raised the minimum wage by less than one dollar."

The Labour-led government raised the minimum adult wage, which applies to people over 18 years, from $9.50 to $10.25 an hour on 27 March this year - the largest increase since the Labour-led government came into office in 1999. Consultation on the 2007 rate is currently underway.

[Transcript of John Key on Kiwi FM.]


Transcript extract: "WAMMO AND JOHN KEY ON KIWI FM" THURSDAY 24 AUGUST 2006 10am-2pm.

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0608/S00289.htm

PRESENTER (WAMMO): So what's a reasonable minimum wage?

KEY: It's $10.25 at the moment. I'm not, I'm not opposed to that rising, in fact naturally it should rise each and every year.

PRESENTER: $12?

KEY: Well it's going to get there. The truthful answer is it should be a lot more, we're actually a low wage economy, and that is one of the things we really need to fix. And I look at it and say hey I think there is something like 400,000 working New Zealanders currently on the minimum wage, a lot of them will probably be, I'd say, virtually school kids and university students and things, that do stuff at Kentucky Fried Chicken or Pizza Hutt or something for a couple of hours a week or a couple of hours in the weekend, but even so it's too many to have on that wage.

PRESENTER: So…

KEY: I'm not one of the hardcore hard right wingers who says get rid of the minimum wage you don’t need it, some people take that view, I personally think it has a place and I don’t have problems with it rising, all I'm saying is that we always have to caution and balance that against the impacts on unemployment.

ENDS


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