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Green policies will help low income workers and unemployed

Green policies will help low income workers and unemployed

A $15 an hour minimum wage would be a helpful boost to low income workers and the Greens are absolutely right to make this a key election priority, National Distribution Union General Secretary Robert Reid said today.

He was responding to the launch of the Green Party's child poverty announcements in Auckland this morning.

"Low income people have been punished by this government with an increase in GST while there were big tax cuts for the wealthy, a miserly 25 cent minimum wage increase this year and changes to employment law that make it harder for non-union workers to access unions to lift their wages."

"A $15 an hour minimum wage would help workers with increasing costs from petrol, food and other items."

"But it would also begin to reorient the economy to see firms base their competitive advantage in greater investment in capital, rather than simply relying on a low paid workforce as they have been encouraged to do since the 1991 Employment Contracts Act. And for those who work in the very important services sector, $15 an hour would lift their wages substantially."

Robert Reid said that the reinstatement of the Training Incentive Allowance and other measures announced by the Greens today would increase access to education and training and help to improve living standards and housing for low income New Zealanders.

He said that the economy needed more stimulus measures to ensure that job growth occurred, and would look forward to seeing job creation polices from the Greens and other parties in the lead up to the election.

Ends.

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