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Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights

David Cunliffe
Labour Leader

30 July 2014

Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“That will put around $4000 a year into the pockets of hard working Kiwi wage earners.

“New Zealand’s productivity gains of 50 per cent over the last 20 years have not led to corresponding increases in real wages.

“Forty-six per cent of Kiwi wage earners didn’t receive a pay rise last year despite the economy growing by around 3 per cent. Wage earners help create economic wealth; it is only fair they share the benefits.

“It is a travesty that 40 per cent of children growing up in poverty are living in working households.

“Labour has already announced its Economic Upgrade programme to create a high-skill high-wage New Zealand and reduce employment to 4 per cent by the end of our first term.

“Today we are committing to a ‘100 days’ programme to make positive changes to the lives of working New Zealanders.

“These include:
• Immediately increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour, with a further increase to $16.25 an hour in April 2015.
• Aiming to raise the minimum wage to two-thirds of the average wage over two terms as conditions permit.
• Ensuring all core public service workers are paid at least the Living Wage, and extending that as fiscal conditions allow.
• Abolishing the Government’s 90 day dismissal law.
• Reviewing health and safety laws and ensuring Worksafe New Zealand is adequately resourced.

“We will also charge a Commission of Inquiry with investigating wage setting and other workplace practices with a view to developing labour market regulation that makes it easier to negotiate fair pay and conditions, and encourages productive workplace relationships.

“Labour will boost wages and bring down unemployment so all Kiwis can afford a better life,” David Cunliffe said.

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ENDS

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