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Better Communities through Better Wages

Better Communities through Better Wages

As the strong dollar tips more people onto the unemployment queue, the Government’s failure to create jobs is being highlighted, says New Zealand First.

“People do want to work to lift themselves out of poverty but there are obstacles – few jobs and wages so low that families cannot survive on them,” says Spokesperson for Social Policy/Welfare Le’aufa’amulia Asenati Lole-Taylor.

“A 50 cent increase to the minimum wage doesn’t go far enough for families struggling to put food on the table.

“While the Government focuses on juggling welfare agencies, they are completely ignoring job creation. In fact, in five years there’s been a thorough cleanout of most low skilled jobs to overseas companies, leaving little opportunity to get a foothold into employment.

“They have failed to provide conditions to allow business and industry to prosper. There are too few skills training programs and migrants have been encouraged to flood in to keep wages down.

“Young people are feeling anxious and discouraged about the lack of employment.

“We want to see good employment policy – that leads to good jobs – with good wages.

“New Zealand has one of the most unequal income distributions in the OECD.

“Significantly raising low wages will go a long way to addressing this. It will also have a wider positive social impact on education and health in lower socio-economic communities.

“New Zealand has 150,000 unemployed and many who work full-time don’t earn enough money to cover basic expenses.

“A growing class of working poor has emerged under National’s watch,” says Mrs Lole-Taylor.


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