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


Wage rises helping Kiwis cover the cost of living

Hon David Clark

Acting Minister of Finance

23 January 2019



Figures out today show wages continue to rise faster than the cost of living, Acting Finance Minister David Clark says.

Statistics NZ said today that Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation was just 0.1% over the final three months of 2018 as food and petrol prices fell, and remained at 1.9% annually in the year to December – in line with the Reserve Bank’s target.

“The inflation figures out today are further evidence of New Zealand’s solid underlying economic fundamentals. We are now seeing income growth higher than increases in the cost of living,” David Clark said.

“Data from Statistics NZ shows household incomes up 5% annually, and the latest Quarterly Employment Survey also shows growth in individuals’ average hourly earnings of around 3% from the year before.

“The Coalition Government’s plan includes a number of key economic policies focussed on lifting the incomes of New Zealanders to help them face the cost of living.

“The Families Package will deliver an average $75 a week to 384,000 low and middle income families when fully rolled out, the minimum wage is rising by $1.20 an hour to $17.70 on 1 April 2019, and new policies like the R&D tax incentive, the Green Investment Fund and the Provincial Growth Fund are designed to encourage businesses to invest to improve productivity.

“We are also focussing on boosting the skill levels of all New Zealanders through policies like Fees-free, Mana-in-Mahi/Strength in Work and Micro-credentials, which again will lead to higher wages.

“The latest CPI data also shows annual rent rises in Auckland were the lowest in four years. This follows Auckland’s largest real estate agent, Barfoot and Thompson, saying rent increases trended down through 2018, and that December figures showed “the lowest rate of change yet”. It also fits with nationwide median rent data for December showing the annual increase was lower in December compared to November, with the median rent flat across the final three months of 2018.

“The low quarterly inflation number came as food and petrol prices fell during the December quarter. Statistics NZ said petrol prices fell 0.6% in the December quarter, despite the regular annual fuel tax increase on 30 September. By the last week of December, petrol prices were 8.3% below the average over the quarter.

“This is further evidence that the main drivers of New Zealand petrol prices are external factors like the international oil price and the exchange rate, in contrast to the Opposition’s constant negative scaremongering,” David Clark said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Anti-Corbyn Split In British Labour

The resignation of seven UK Labour MPs in protest against the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn is another example of the centre-left’s readiness to sabotage its own cause – such things are always allegedly done on principle – even if the outcome hands the country over to Conservative rule for five more years.

Certainly, a technician hot-miked at the splitters’ press conference was pretty sure this would now be the outcome, and he accidentally informed the nation to that effect. More>>


Auckland Action Against Poverty: Motels Profit From Housing Crisis

A single motel which charges up to $1,500 per week per room has received over $3 million worth of Government funds to provide emergency assistance, despite never having a Code Compliance Certificate – an offence under the Building Act – and receiving a series of longstanding complaints from occupants... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Alleged China Relations Crisis

If New Zealand’s relations with China are ‘deteriorating’ then you still need a microscope to detect the signs... More>>


Environment: Government To End Tenure Review

“Tenure review has resulted in parcels of land being added to the conservation estate, but it has also resulted in more intensive farming and subdivision on the 353,000 ha of land which has been freeholded. This contributed to major landscape change and loss of habitat for native plants and animals,” said Eugenie Sage. More>>


Bell Tolls: Big Changes, Grand Mergers Planned For Vocational Training

“At a time when we’re facing critical skill shortages, too many of our polytechnics and institutes of technology are going broke... More>>


Sallies' State Of The Nation: Progress Stalled In Reducing Inequality

The report shows a lack of tangible progress in key areas including record levels of household debt and a growing gap in educational achievement between poorer and more well off communities. More>>


Party Politics In Tax Morale Survey: SSC To Seek Answers From IRD

Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins has today asked the State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to examine IRD’s reported inappropriate use of a public survey. More>>





InfoPages News Channels