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Alliance Minimum Wage $15ph Best And Fairest Way

Sunday 21 August 2005

Alliance Minimum Wage $15ph Best And Fairest Way

“The Alliance believes that to be a liveable rate, the minimum wage should be $15 per hour,” said Paul Piesse, Alliance co-leader today. He was commenting on the huge gaps created by the tax cuts policies of both Labour and National, saying they were pitching to the swinging voter rather than dealing with poverty levels of wages in New Zealand.

“Many workers on minimal wages between $9.50 and $15 an hour will not gain anything from Labour’s changes, as they fall outside the criteria for families,” said Paul Piesse. “That does not mean they do not have responsibilities for wider ‘families’ but they do not fall within the criteria for the IRD.”

“Lifting the minimum wage to $15 would build a base from which every person could live reasonably and still have some family time,” said Paul Piesse. “At present many can only make ends meet by doing overtime - mostly at the same inadequate rate that they earn during the week.”

“The Government should begin the process by setting a health sector and education sector minimum wage of $15 per hour,” said Paul Piesse. “In the UK, there is today a health sector minimum wage of five pounds 69p (about $15).”

“For example, the Canterbury District Health Board is the biggest employer of staff in the South Island,” said Paul Piesse. “Were it to be taking the lead, with Government support, in paying a minimum wage to its staff that they can live on, the current strikes and other problems affecting services would not be occurring.”

ENDS

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