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

 

Gordon Campbell: On Bill English Living In Denial

The working poor have been a direct byproduct of the economic policies in vogue for the past 30 years or more, all over the Western world... That anger was evident in the Brexit vote, and it underlies the support for Donald Trump in the United States. More>>

ALSO:

Final Reading Of Parental Leave Bill: Families With New Babies Victims Of Veto

“For the first time ever, a Bill will have a third reading debate and no vote will be taken at the end because the National Government has used its veto – an extreme measure against families,” says the Bill’s sponsor, Labour MP Sue Moroney. More>>

ALSO:

Water, Pests, Erosion...: Commissioner Releases Mixed Report Card On Environment

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has released a mixed report card in her assessment of the state of New Zealand’s environment. “We are lucky to live in an exceptionally beautiful country, but we have some big issues to face up to” said Dr Jan Wright. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Private Schools Beneficiaries Of Extra Cash

“Not only did this year’s Budget freeze operational funding for state schools, but 86 per cent of secondary school principals say they don’t get enough funding, and the demand for school donations from parents is rising at 10 times the rate of inflation... Now we’ve got Hekia Parata proposing more cash for private schools." More>>

ALSO:

Shop Hours Bill Second Reading: Government Blocks Easter Trading Petition

The union representing retail workers is warning that the Government is out of touch with working people after passing the second reading of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, a law handing local authorities the power to permit trading on Easter Sunday. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Shewan Inquiry Into Our Tax Haven Rules

Like the political equivalent of lithium, Prime Minister John Key is routinely administered to dull any politically dangerous mood swings amidst the general public... More>>

ALSO:

Law Commission: Review Of Search And Surveillance Act Begins

“For example, the Act was drafted before cloud-based storage of data was commonplace. In the light of these and other developments, the Commission will be examining whether the investigative powers in the Act are sufficient for law enforcement purposes. We will also consider whether the safeguards that surround those processes are adequate.” More>>

ALSO:

Houses, Campers And Cops: LGNZ Media Briefing

At their quarterly media briefing today Local Government New Zealand addressed areas where local authorities are feeling pressure and outlined their approach for the upcoming local body elections in September-October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news