Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


All businesses should commit to being living wage employer

All businesses should commit to being living wage employer

October 18, 2017

Leading economic researcher BERL challenges all businesses to become Living Wage employers to make a real difference to New Zealanders and their communities.

On its 60th anniversary celebrations, BERL chief economist Dr Ganesh Nana told invited guests, economists and business people at a gala function in Wellington tonight that BERL had a commitment to the wellbeing of current and future generations.

“Corporate visions are great for websites and for glossy marketing collateral. We need to walk the talk. In this light, I am proud to announce that BERL has recently been approved as an Accredited Living Wage employer.

“We applied because, yes, it is closely aligned with our vision and yes, because we want to walk the talk against a low-wage, low-skill business model.

“And yes, it’s good corporate citizen behaviour but, primarily and most importantly, it is the right thing to do.

“I recently stumbled on a Mood of the Boardroom survey that indicated 91 percent of respondents were prepared to pay the Living Wage. I congratulate those already doing so. But tonight, I challenge those 91 percent – and indeed all other businesses – what are they waiting for? Stop waiting for others to take the lead. Walk the talk and commit to a Living Wage business and a high wage economy.

“BERL is proud to be a Living Wage employer - in support of moving out of low-wage, low-productivity, low-profitability spiral and towards a high wage, high productivity and high profitability economy.”

He says neo-liberal economics is dead so let’s take this opportunity to set a platform for a high wage economy. He remains sceptical and unconvinced of the magnitude of the gains from the experiment of the past three decades.

Much of BERL’s work around the regions of Aotearoa provides the evidence in relation to the tradable export sector and the quality of its infrastructure, education and labour market inefficiencies and disconnects, and lagging research and development spending.

“Exports are still struggling to breach the 30 percent of GDP threshold, let alone the 40 percent aspirational target and there are many examples of the costs of deferred maintenance as investment in new transformational processes and technologies continue to be in the ‘we can’t afford it’ basket.

“Yes, there have been gains from the experiment, but as a true academic researcher I am obliged to weigh up those gains against the costs. I see entrenched disparities in New Zealand, and growing disparities around the globe. These disparities sow the seeds for an unstable future – an instability the consequences of which we in New Zealand will not be able to avoid.

“Neo-liberal economics is not dying, rather, it is dead; In the sense of business decisions being driven by market price signals, the neo-liberal economic model is well and truly dead in the water – belly up, being towed by a life-raft known as taxpayer largesse.

“In the New Zealand context, the neo-liberal model is an illusion increasingly reliant, not on the market, but on Working for Families supplementing workers’ incomes.

“As the welfare net broadens to now capture many that are indeed employed in the market economy, the inability of that market economy to deliver incomes for workers to be able to live (and to provide for their families) becomes ever more stark. This implicit support for a low wage business model does little to encourage a high productivity, high profitability economy.

“To break that low wage, low productivity, low profitability spiral requires courage and leadership. Businesses committing to and adopting the Living Wage is a first step,” Dr Nana says.


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Bell Gully: Uncertainty Ahead With New Unconscionable Conduct Legislation

new prohibition against ‘unconscionable conduct’ in trade is one of a number of changes to the Fair Trading Act 1986 that come into force from 16 August 2022. The new prohibition may have wide-ranging implications for many businesses... More>>

Statistics: Food Prices Increase 7.4 Percent Annually
Food prices were 7.4 percent higher in July 2022 compared with July 2021, Stats NZ said today... More>>

REINZ: Market Activity And Prices Continue To Ease, First Home Buyers Start To Return To The Market

New Zealand’s winter property market continues its recent trend, slowing from the pace of sales and price rises of last year — properties stay on the market longer and median prices dip... More>>

Kiwi Group Holdings: Fisher Funds Acquires Kiwi Wealth Business

Kiwi Group Holdings Limited (KGHL) today announced the sale of Kiwi Wealth to Fisher Funds for NZ$310 million... More>>

Retail NZ: Welcomes Return Of Cruise Ships

“Cruise visitors were big spenders in retail prior to COVID-19, and retailers in Auckland will be celebrating the arrival of P&O’s Pacific Explorer this morning... More>>

ASB: Full Year Results: Building Resilience Today And For Our Future

In its 175th year, ASB has reported a cash net profit after tax of $1,418 million for the 12 months to 30 June 2022, an increase of $122 million or 9% on the prior year... More>>