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Hard work deserves a living wage

Su’a William
SIO
Pacific Island Affairs Spokesperson

18 October 2011

Hard work deserves a living wage

Labour’s Work and Wages policy announced today by Labour Leader Phil Goff will ensure hard working Kiwis receive a decent living wage so they don’t fall further behind, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

“Relentless food price increases and a government which celebrates low wages are bad news for Pacific families who deserve a decent wage and a decent standard of living,” Su’a William Sio said.

“Phil Goff spoke in Hamilton today about the growing numbers of Kiwis struggling to make ends meet as this government concentrates its effort on the already well-off at the expense of the rest.

“Those at the top have benefited from billions of dollars of tax cuts in the last two years, the super wealthy have increased their wealth by $7 billion and top chief executives received pay rises well above inflation.

“The reality is the vast majority of Kiwis are worse off now than they were three years ago. A record number of New Zealanders --100,000 – have left for higher wages in Australia since John Key became Prime Minister.

“Labour will reverse this government’s short-sighted changes to employment laws and put in place a system to lift the bar on wages so that we can compete better with Australia.

Labour’s plan for a better functioning labour market will include:

• A system for extending minimum wage and conditions standards in suitable industries.
• A Workplace Commissioner in the Employment Relations Authority to agree appropriate industry standards.
• $15/hour minimum wage.
• Repealing National’s 90-day law.
• Amending the Holidays Act to ensure 11 days of public holidays each year, regardless of them falling on a weekend day.
• Restoring reinstatement as the primary remedy when an employee has been unjustifiably dismissed.
“Labour’s Work and Wages policy is a sensible way forward to improve the lives of Kiwis. The policy is an important part of our plan to get New Zealand back onto a solid foundation for growth by paying off our ballooning national debt, keeping our state assets, making everyone pay their fair share of tax, creating new jobs through investment in high tech companies, lifting productivity in the workplace and increasing our self-reliance through a larger savings pool.

“To close the gap with Australia we need a plan that builds businesses and delivers for workers, their families and the community. Labour’s plan does this.

“National keeps talking about wanting a ‘brighter future’ for New Zealand, but only Labour has a plan for the future that includes everyone,” Su’a William Sio said.

ENDS



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