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Inequality growing, wealth gap widens

Inequality growing, wealth gap widens

Improving economic performance is not translating into better wage rates and a closing of the income gap, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

“Wage figures released today show 46 per cent of wage and salary earners didn’t get a pay rise in the last year. That is higher percentage than those who missed out the previous year.

“The annual median increase - the level where half of all earners earn more and half earn less - is the lowest increase in more than 13 years.

“Wage rates are the most important measure of whether the benefits of economic growth are being shared because they relate to the price of labour as agreed between workers and employers. Today’s figures show they are not keeping pace with the cost of living.

“The one thing we expect as a matter of fairness is that as the economy grows, wage rates will rise in real terms.

“When this doesn’t happen, inequality widens and wealth distribution is less fair.

“Today’s figures confirm what we’ve known for a long time: our wage setting processes are broken. Under this Government workers cannot expect to share in the gains of an improving economy.

“In fact everything this Government is doing in industrial relations is making it even harder for workers to get decent pay rises.

“Labour will reverse National’s measures that have made it harder to negotiate a pay rise, and we will look at new measures to ensure growing wealth generation is matched with fair wages,” Andrew Little says.

ends

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