Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Wages argument doesn’t stack up

Andrew Little
Labour Spokesperson

6 August 2014

Wages argument doesn’t stack up

Business New Zealand’s narrow view about what is good for the labour market and for the economy undermines its credibility and shows it may have little to offer the debate on increasing the national income and sharing it fairly, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.

“Just as the rest of the country is waking up to the fact of growing inequality and an increasing wage gap Business New Zealand calls for a lid on the minimum wage and more deregulation of the labour market.

“New Zealand is recognised by the World Bank as having had one of the most deregulated labour markets for nearly 25 years, yet over the same period incomes for the bottom 50 per cent of earners has remained static or gone backwards.

“If the average wage in New Zealand had kept pace with improvements in productivity over the last twenty years, it would be between $7 and $8 higher than it is now.

“Last year, while the economy grew by more than 3 per cent, 46 per cent of wage and salary earners didn’t get a pay rise.

“Forty per cent of children living below the poverty line come from families and households with a working adult.

“The critical issue in New Zealand’s labour market is its failure to provide adequate wages to most working people. That Business New Zealand’s manifesto has nothing to say about this shows it can’t be taken seriously.

“Extending the 90-day ‘no rights’ period to 12 months would create even more job insecurity and would be a retrograde step for productivity and good quality management decision-making.

“New Zealand is in desperate need of a constructive debate about making our labour market work for all participants – employers and workers alike. Mindless, out-dated demands for even more wage suppression and greater job insecurity have no place in that debate.

“Labour is committed to lifting the minimum wage, investigating new measures to ensure all workers get a fair share of the national income and ensuring labour market regulation encourages high productivity management conduct, not low-road, low-rent behaviour encouraged by Business New Zealand,” Andrew Little said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Q+A Transcript: Groser ‘Not Expecting’ Failure At UN Climate Talks

‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened...’ More>>


Greenpeace Protest:

Climate Talks, Immigration And Housing: PM's Post Cabinet Press Conference

Prime Minister John Key began by talking about his recent attendance at the APEC and ASEAN summits. He segued neatly from the opportunities available in Vietnam to outlining his upcoming itinerary which includes Malta, Paris and Berlin. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news