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Wages go backwards under National

5 February 2014

Wages go backwards under National

New data released today shows that salaries and wages are not keeping up with the rising cost of living, the Green Party said today.

Statistics New Zealand today released its Quarterly Labour Cost Index showing how salaries and wages have changed over time. Since March 2009, all salaries and wages increased by 7.3 percent while the Consumer Price Index increased by 9.2 percent. Another way to compare the data – from the December 2008 to December 2013 quarter – shows a similar trend; salaries and wages increased by 9.3 percent while the Consumer Price Index increased by 10.8 percent.

“Wages and salaries are going backwards in real terms under National leaving people worse off,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Today’s numbers confirm what most people have been feeling for years – their pay is not keeping up with the rising cost of living.

“Households are getting squeezed from five years of National’s economic management.

“With interest rates set to start rising next month, all families with a mortgage are about to be squeezed even further.

“The forecast one percent hike in the OCR this year will raise the average homeowner’s mortgage payment by $70 a fortnight.

“If this is the ‘sweet spot’ under National, it’s turning out sour for most Kiwis.

“It’s time to call National’s signature economic strategy of asset sales and risky oil drilling a failure. We should be investing, instead, in jobs-rich sectors with proven success records like hi-tech manufacturing, adding value to our forestry exports, and IT.

“National has materially failed to grow jobs and wages, and failed to protect households from rising house and power prices,” said Dr Norman.

More information: Statistics New Zealand Labour Cost Index

ENDS

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