Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Out of touch government condemns low paid workers to poverty

Service and Food Workers Union Ngā Ringa Tota Media Release

26 February 2013

Out of touch government condemns low paid workers to poverty

While the Prime Minister pocketed an extra $150 a week in December's pay rise, New Zealand's lowest paid workers will get a miserable $10 increase if they are lucky enough to get a full week's work.

Service and Food Workers Union National Secretary John Ryall said today the Government was utterly out of touch with the realities for working families struggling on poverty pay.

"The 25 cents increase in the minimum hourly wage is an insult to hard-working New Zealanders and a disgrace," he said.

"Ten dollars a week won't even buy the most basic household items, let alone keep up with skyrocketing rentals, power, transport and other household bills."

John Ryall said the Government was living in a bubble, blind to the suffering of workers and their families on very low pay.

"There are thousands of real people, including caregivers, cleaners and security guards, on the minimum wage in New Zealand, trying to feed their families and get by. The Government is obviously happy to see them starve," he said.

John Ryall said the "new entrant" increase of 20 cents would be a joke if it wasn't so tragic.

“Nobody can live on these rates and we are on an ever-increasing downward spiral into a country of haves and have-nots,” he said.

John Ryall said arguments that New Zealand’s minimum wage was relatively high were wrong.

“In countries like Australia, the rates for low-paid jobs are set by an award system. In New Zealand the minimum wage is a grim reality for many thousands of workers and the figure sets a rock-bottom benchmark for many more thousands paid at rates close to the minimum wage,” he said.

John Ryall said an independent report, published two weeks ago, identified $18.40 an hour as the New Zealand living wage — the income necessary not just to survive, but to live a decent but modest life.

“Nobody could survive on $13.50 and nobody can survive on $13.75,” he said.

“There is growing concern in New Zealand about poverty and inequality and this announcement will add to that concern.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

PARLIAMENT TODAY:

3-Year Transport Plan: No Plans On Six Northland-Election Bridges

The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

Family Violence: Increasing Reporting But Fewer Resolutions

“We are aware the Police have embarked on a significant programme of change in how they respond to family violence. The data suggests that adequate resourcing including investing in staff training, support and culture change will be required for this to be effective.” More>>

ALSO:

Health: NZ Children Still Suffer Rickets From Lack Of Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency continues to cause rickets in young New Zealanders, new University of Otago research has found. The researchers say that their finding suggests that at-risk mothers and children should be better targeted for Vitamin D supplementation. More>>

Also GPs, Housing, Milk: PM Press Conference On The UN Security Council

In a press conference today the Prime Minister discussed the upcoming appointment of New Zealand to chair the UN Security Council. He said they would put pressure Asad in Syria and attempt to “jump start” negotiations between Israel and Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: State Houses Could Sell To Overseas Groups

Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. More>>

ALSO:

AND:

Gordon Campbell: On Climate Change Protest, And Iraq Training

For sheer style, humour and content fit for purpose, it would be hard to beat the Greenpeace protest at Parliament. The fact that the hanging of functioning solar panels from Parliament Buildings caused such spluttering outrage among fogeys old (David Carter) and young (David Seymour) added a Monty Python level of amusement to the whole event. More>>

ALSO:

Speech: Bill English Explains NZ Government To Australia

Here I am part of a successful government, now into its third term and hopefully with more to come. I want to offer some thoughts tonight about the business of government, from a centre-right perspective. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news