13 August 2013
Survey confirms it’s time for a Living Wage
The New Zealand General Social Survey: 2012, released today confirms it is time for a Living wage, says CTU President Helen Kelly.
Helen Kelly says “the survey shows that Kiwis are struggling with low wages and incomes. 48 percent of respondents feel they earn either not enough, or just enough to get by. It isn’t good enough that people’s incomes have them worrying that they have just enough to survive.”
Helen Kelly says that poverty is a huge issue causing hardship, and that low wages are a big contributor to this.
“Having a job is no longer a guarantee that you will be able to provide for the necessities of life for you and your family. Two out of five children in poverty are in families where one parent works. Low pay means working families are still struggling to provide food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, childcare, power and other necessities.”
“Paying workers a living wage is the best way to address the real poverty we are seeing in New Zealand at the moment. A living wage would also go a long way towards alleviating our growing inequality.”
Helen Kelly said “the survey also showed that over a third of us have a major problem with our house, and 13 percent rate their health as poor or fair. Incomes need to be able to cover adequate housing to proving safe and warm homes for families to be healthy. These survey results are shocking and at odds with the way we like to think of New Zealand, as the ‘Land of Plenty’.
“It’s time for a real commitment to decent jobs in New Zealand and lifting pay yet the Government has introduced legislation that will reduce wages for Kiwi workers even more.
Rather than cutting employment rights we need a living wage, improvements in collective bargaining coverage and a real acknowledgement that the huge inequalities of income we are currently seeing in New Zealand are unjustified and must be addressed.”