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Brash completely out of touch on minimum wage

30 November 2009
Media Statement

Brash completely out of touch on minimum wage

Don Brash’s 2025 Task Force recommendation that the Government should quickly lower the minimum wage to the relative level it was in 1999 shows how out of touch National was in appointing Dr Brash to lead up the 2025 taskforce, Labour Leader Phil Goff said today.

“John Key must have known what Don Brash would recommend given the consistency of Dr Brash’s ideological views for more than 20 years,” Phil Goff said.

“This recommendation to cut the wages of working people on the lowest income would literally force into poverty our lowest paid and most vulnerable Kiwi workers.

“It would slash their income by $100 a week from $500 to $400 when these workers are already struggling to meet their basic needs.

“At the same time Dr Brash wants to give our highest earners a cut in tax rate from a 38 percent rate to 20 percent.

“That means that a senior cabinet minister will get an extra $623 a week with a top tax rate of 20c, or more than $32,000 a year. The Kiwi on the minimum wage will get $5000 less a year.

“It’s a classic case of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

“In appointing a task force to make these recommendations the Government has shown how little they understand about the reality of life for people on the lowest wages for whom balancing their budget each week is a constant struggle,” Phil Goff said.

ENDS

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