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“Living Wage” Depends on Stronger Economy

Media Release
12 February 2013


“Living Wage” Depends on Stronger Economy

Many Wellington businesses would struggle to pay a living wage of the level supported by Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown, says Wellington Employers Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley.

She was responding to Ms Wade-Brown’s call for the council to look at paying the living wage to its workers and for Wellington businesses to follow suit.

"We would all like wages to be higher but that depends on a stronger economy, and in the present climate that just would not be possible for many businesses.

"It's a tough trading environment out there right now, and that means it's tough for everyone.

“The proposed living wage of $18 is a huge jump from the minimum wage of $13.50 and would be beyond many businesses.

“Much more important is the creation of jobs so more people are in work, and that’s what’s top of mind for Chamber of Commerce members – growing their businesses which will result in more jobs.

“Employers can pay only what they can afford and I'm sure our members would be the first in line to pay more if they could,” Ms Bleakley concluded.

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