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

 


Living Wage at Auckland Council could cost ratepayers $17.2m

Media release

Auckland Councillor Cameron Brewer

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Living Wage at Auckland Council could cost ratepayers $17.2m annually

Following on the heels of Hamilton City Council, the adoption of a living wage policy at Auckland Council could be imminent and with the multi-million dollar cost set to be lumped straight onto suburban ratepayers, warns Auckland Councillor for Orakei Cameron Brewer.

Mr Brewer cited a report and minutes from the Council’s Auckland Plan Committee on 12 March, where a majority of councillors voted to ‘direct officers to undertake further work on the implications of introducing a living wage for Auckland Council and any implications for the wider Auckland economy…’

“This was despite a report very clearly stating that lifting the hourly rate for 1,544 council staff to $18.40 would cost ratepayers over $2.5 million, excluding Auckland Transport and Watercare. Likewise, if the so-called ‘Auckland Living Wage’ of $24.11 was introduced affecting 3,354 staff it would cost ratepayers over $17.2m per annum.

“The report also concluded that ‘initial analysis by Finance indicates that the increase in rates needed could be 0.2% and 1.2% respectively’. The increase on the council’s salary budget would be 0.6% and 4% respectively. And that’s excluding all the staff in the two massive CCOs Auckland Transport and Watercare, so the end cost would be much higher still. 

"Given just how stretched ratepayers are at the moment, it’s crazy that majority of councillors even voted for council staff to spend even more time and ratepayers' money investigating this."

"We have over 1,165 council staff earning over $100,000 with 123 of them earning over $200,000, an annual wage bill exceeding $670m, and now many councillors also want a living wage imposed on ratepayers! It's all very well for some businesses to pay a living wage, because their customers have choices, but in local government, ratepayers have no choice but to pay any extra costs passed onto them."

Back in March Mr Brewer moved an amendment to the motion, seconded by Christine Fletcher: ‘That any further work on the living wage be done on the proviso that any extra money required be found within the current $670m wage and salary staff budget of Auckland Council, not funded by a further rates increase.’

However Mr Brewer's amendment to let ratepayers off the hook was lost five votes to 10.

“A majority of councillors seem determined that the extra cost should fall straight onto suburban ratepayers. Let's not forget that most of our elderly ratepayers are battling on fixed incomes well below the minimum wage of $13.75 an hour. Yet struggling ratepayers could soon be forced to give up more of their income to fund a living wage policy for council staff.”

“The authors of the report presented to councillors in March noted the Government’s concern about the potential loss of jobs if the policy was adopted nationally and that ‘an increase in rates may also have an inflationary effect and create an economic deadweight loss to society’. Councillors need to take heed of these concerns, and ratepayers’ back-pockets, when this issue comes back to us,” says Mr Brewer.

SEE:
Auckland Plan Committee 12 March 2013
Item 12
Agenda link to the website:
http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/AboutCouncil/meetings_agendas/committees/Pages/aucklandfuturevisioncommittee.aspx


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell:
On The Kim Regime

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the US had a very clear objective and eventually offered a quid pro quo of the removal of some of its own missiles from Turkey. This time, there’s no clarity about what the US is seeking, or offering.

It hasn’t helped that the US and the global media consistently agree on calling North Korea and its leadership “crazy” and “irrational” and urging it to “come to its senses”. When you treat your opponent as being beyond reason, it gets hard to comprehend what their strategy is, let alone work out the terms of a viable compromise. More>>

 

Recovery: Economic Impact Of Kaikōura Quake Revealed

The report details the impact on small businesses and tourism caused by disruptions to transport infrastructure and the economic impacts... The impact on New Zealand’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) over the first 18 months following the earthquake has been estimated at $450-$500 million. More>>

ALSO:

Human Rights Commission: Urgent Need For Action On Seclusion And Restraint

Chief Human Rights Commissioner David Rutherford says that while the report makes for sobering reading, the focus should now be on how the recommendations can be used to reduce the occurrence of seclusion and restraint in New Zealand and, in circumstances where it is necessary, to improve practices. More>>

ALSO:

CORRECTIONS (March 2017):

SCHOOL SECLUSION ROOMS (2016):

$11bn Capital Spend, New Debt Target: Steven Joyce On Budget Priorities

First, delivering better public services for a growing country – providing all New Zealanders with the opportunity to lead successful independent lives... And finally, we remain committed to reducing the tax burden and in particular the impact of marginal tax rates on lower and middle income earners, when we have the room to do so. More>>

ALSO:

JustSpeak Report: Bail Changes To Blame For New Billion Dollar Prison

In 2013 criminal justice spending was falling and the Government was mulling over what to spend the money on. 3 years later there are 10,000 people in prison and a new billion dollar prison is announced. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news