Government admits immigration policies have kept wages down
“At last Bill English has admitted that the immigration policies of his Government have kept wages down. Now he must act to ensure that employers pay working people a fair share of the income they are producing”, says CTU Secretary Sam Huggard
English told the New Zealand Herald the same thing many economists including the Reserve Bank have been saying for some time, that “New Zealanders' wages could have gone up by more had immigration levels been lower”.
“A significant proportion of immigration for work is not properly tested for essential skills or to see if there are locals who could take the job.”
“We support immigration when it is properly controlled and there is a clear need. Employers must not be able to use immigration to avoid training New Zealanders or as a barrier to fair wages and conditions. We are especially concerned about areas like construction, hospitality and agriculture.”
“English says that there has been real wage growth in New Zealand. But increases in wages hasn’t kept up with what the economy and employers can afford.”
“Market sector labour productivity grew 8.5 percent between 2009 and 2014 but real average wages grew only a little more than 2 percent.”
“Wage and salary earners are not getting a fair share of the income they work to create, and the Government is not concerned.”
"Our Government should be strengthening workers’ ability to improve wages by negotiating collectively with their workmates. The Government must ensure that all immigration is fair for all.” Huggard said.