Responding to Hamilton City Council's move to a minimum wage of $20 per hour for employees of its contractors, the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is labelling the decision tone-deaf.
Taxpayers’ Union spokeswoman Islay Aitchison says, “Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate rejected suggestions to implement a zero percent rates increase, claiming it was ‘too broad a brush’. But mandating how all contractors pay their staff is hardly a narrow and delicate approach.”
“Hamilton ratepayers will now be paying over market rate for the wages of people not even employed by the Council. It will also put more strain on the contracted businesses themselves as they attempt to remain profitable throughout the economic downturn.”
“Simply put, now is not the time to increase the burden on ratepayers. While this particular minimum wage may not be far above the legal requirement, it’s a step in the wrong direction and indicates the Council is out of touch with the needs of its residents.”