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Clark challenged over Aussie wage gap

John Key MP
National Party Leader

7 September 2008

Clark challenged over Aussie wage gap


  • After tax income in Australia and NZ
  • National Leader John Key has today challenged Helen Clark to tell New Zealanders what she is going to do to start closing the ever-widening wage gap between New Zealand and Australia.

    "The country has had worrying news in the past few days that the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia is growing wider.

    "Our figures show a gap of 38% in Australia's favour. However CTU economist Peter Conway says, based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the variation between pay packets, adjusted for the exchange rate and cost of living difference, is now a whopping 49.7%.

    "It is no surprise therefore that we also have migration to Australia at record levels.

    "The response from Labour to date has been a collective shrug. As late as this morning, cabinet minister Shane Jones dismissed it with the line 'people will come, people will go'.

    "It is this sort of collective complacency from Labour that shows they have given up on one of the most important issues facing New Zealand in this global world - our poor productivity and low wages.

    "There is an election now within about two months. National has detailed a clear, cohesive plan that will lift our productivity over time, and create a stronger higher-wage economy.

    "I challenge the Prime Minister to lift herself out of the Peters/ Glenn affair long enough to tell New Zealand how she will address this issue if she is re-elected.

    "This is a hugely important issue for New Zealand and she must provide an answer."

    ENDS


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