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Price rises hitting families hard

CTU Media Release

18 July 2011

Price rises hitting families hard

The 5.3% rise in CPI for the year to June is another sign of working people being hit hard by the combination of GST and other government charges, plus big increases in food, electricity and petrol prices, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg.

“These are all increases in purchases which people can’t avoid. It particularly hurts people on low incomes. Unions will be pushing hard for reasonable wage and salary increases to compensate for these increased costs.”

Wage and salary rates rose only 1.8% in the year to March according to the Labour Cost Index, and of those getting increases, half were getting less than a 3.0% increase. Average hourly earnings rose only 2.6%.

“Wages are not keeping up with CPI inflation, with or without the GST increase. Statistics New Zealand says the CPI would still have increased by 3.3% without the rise in GST.”

“When added to continuing high levels of unemployment and falling hours worked, times are tough for many people. Increasing reports of poverty and reliance on food banks are another sign of this,” said Rosenberg.


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