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



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news