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Living wage critical in fight against poverty

23 May 2012

Living wage critical in fight against poverty

“New Zealanders should no longer accept that it’s OK for employers to pay wages far below what it takes to survive,” says Sue Bradford, spokesperson for Auckland Action Against Poverty.

“Our group totally backs the Living Wage campaign being launched in Auckland today.

“Lifting pay to levels that truly reflect the basic costs of survival is essential to ending poverty in this country.

“The current National Government deliberate keeps wages low despite the consequences for hundreds of thousands of employed workers and their children.

“There is a huge amount of research already done which shows the damage done to babies and children brought up in poverty.

“Even National wrings its hands about it.

“Yet the Government is bringing in changes to employment law which will make it much tougher for workers to bargain for decent wages; refuses to raise the minimum wage to a livable level; and persists in doing everything it can to keep beneficiaries harassed and financially desperate so that they’ll take any job they can, no matter what the wage.

“All this means that the gap between rich and poor keeps growing, and more and more people are excluded from access to even the most basic necessities of life, like adequate food and housing.

Auckland Action Against Poverty congratulates the new Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign on its launch today, and hopes more and more New Zealanders will join us in fighting for a living wage for all our people, not just some of them.

ENDS

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