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Maori Party sticking to minimum wage policy

Maori Party sticking to its call to lift the minimum wage

Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leaders

9 February 2009

The Maori Party is keeping its word in calling for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour not the $12.50 being suggested by the government.

The Maori Party campaigned in the lead up to the election for the minimum hourly wage to be raised to $15, and called for incomes up to $25,000 not to be taxed.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says, "given the current world economic crisis it is even more important to lift the minimum wage. If we are to survive this crisis in reasonable shape we need to get cash into the hands of our most vulnerable so they can adequately feed, house and clothe their families. We know that when we put extra money into the hands of lower income families it tends to go back into the economy to pay for essentials."

Fellow co-leader - Dr Pita Sharples - says "lifting the minimum wage will also improve the situation for lower income earners who missed out on the latest tax cut announced earlier by the government. We welcome the decision to tie the minimum wage to the consumer price index but we think it should be lifted to $15 an hour first."

Mrs Turia says "over the past few months all New Zealanders have faced major price rises on essentials like food, power and fuel - and consequently transport - which affects all goods. Those hardest hit are on the minimum wage. We in the Maori Party will continue to argue for the most vulnerable in our society and that's why we believe the minimum wage should be $15 an hour."


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