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



Court Sends Back TPP Decision: 'Blanket Approach' In Turning Down OIA Not Lawful

"When the minister refused Professor Kelsey’s request, neither he nor his officials assessed each piece of information requested against the criteria in the act for withholding official information," Justice Collins said in his judgment. More>>


CTU Conference: Helen Kelly On Standing Down

So now I have left you a big list of jobs to do when I go, I do want to talk about leaving for a little bit. I am going to miss this job. It is, believe it or not – fun and interesting ... More>>


Members' Bills: Seymour Lodges Assisted Dying Bill

“The End of Life Choice Bill is a response to the anguish faced by a small but significant minority of people with terminal illness or who are grievously and irremediably ill, as they anticipate the prospect of intolerable suffering and the indignity of the final few days and weeks of their lives,” said Mr Seymour. More>>


Activism: SHAN Protest Against State Housing Sales

The State Housing Action Network (SHAN) led a protest in Wellington against the sale of state housing by the Government. At midday thirty to forty protestors marched from Civic Square to Parliament accompanied by the sounds of the Brass Razoo Solidarity Band. More>>

1080 Threat: Police Arrest 60 Year Old Auckland Man

New Zealand Police have arrested a 60-year-old Auckland businessman in relation to the criminal blackmail threat to poison infant formula with 1080, made public in March this year. More>>


Canterbury Transition Bill First Reading: Government Hiding From ECan Submissions

The Government has radically reduced the amount of time for public submissions on their controversial ECan bill, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods... “Their shortened timeline could mean that instead of the usual six weeks, Cantabrians get just one week to submit their views on the bill." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Our Apparent Inability To Stand Up To Australia

Alas, and only days before the first meeting between our Prime Minister John Key and the new Australian leader Malcolm Turnbull, this country is showing no sign of standing up for itself. Quite the reverse. We seem to be rolling over, and making gestures of appeasement. More>>


Health Not-So-Many Benefits: Auditor-General On Scrapped Cost-Saving Plan

The Auditor-General decided to look into the costs and benefits of HBL’s work in the health sector and, where possible, identify lessons... We found that several factors contributed to the difficulties that befell HBL and, in particular, the Finance, Procurement and Supply Chain (FPSC) programme. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news