web analytics
The Standard

Towards a more inequal New Zealand

Written By: - Date published: 7:41 am, February 27th, 2013 - 30 comments
Categories: class war, minimum wage - Tags:

The average CEO got a 10% pay rise last year. The average worker got 2.6%. Minimum wage workers will get 1.9% – a 25 cent an hour token gesture. And 30,000 fewer of us have jobs than a year ago and are not earning at all any more. And now we learn the finance sector sucked $440m more out of us last year – a total of $4 billion. No wonder the planes to Aussie are full.

30 comments on “Towards a more inequal New Zealand”

  1. geoff 1

    My guess is the next unemployment figure is going to be over 8%, or that the participation rate is even lower. Maybe both!

    • fatty 1.1

      Moving to OZ at this time of the year is pretty tempting, I’m sure many are going to leave.
      Perhaps its time Labour started campaigning in Australia – how many of their voters are living over there now?..If people continue to jump the ditch, 2014 will become more difficult to win. Getting kiwis in Aussie to vote will be difficult…they have BBQs, beer, pockets full of cash and sun to distract them.

      • Austral.Asian 1.1.1

        Stereotypes, fatty.

        Some remember their heritage .. for a while, but the daily struggle for survival
        in a slowing Australian economy soon takes precedence.

        • fatty 1.1.1.1

          What do you mean stereotypes?
          I think you missed my point…I have no idea what your point is

  2. johnm 2

    An economy of well paid conceited and arrogant chiefs, but declining numbers of braves and the remaining braves getting shafted by the chiefs. Not a happy tribe with a good future. :-(

  3. vto 3

    The minimum wage should be raised each year by the larger of politicians annual salary increases or CEO’s annual pay increases.

    Why not?

    What would be unfair about it?

    Gosman? tsmithfield? burt the spurt? anyone?

  4. Weta 4

    Zetetic .. the correct grammar in Aotearoan English should be

    “Towards a More *Unequal* New Zealand”.

    Have you read Golding’s “Lord of the Flies” ?

    It is a great analogy for what is happening at the moment.

  5. Coronial Typer 5

    Anyone got GINI measurements to compare NZ with specific Australian states?

    Is inequality really an emigration driver? Would have thought opportunity would be a more pertinent motivator.

    • fatty 5.1

      yes, my guess is that opportunity is the reason people go to Australia. But, the reason there are no opportunities here is that we have too much inequality.
      So, opportunity is the reason, but inequality is the cause

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        As the wealth accumulates into fewer and fewer hands the opportunities available decline as those with the wealth hang on to it more and more.

  6. So NZ signed a deal with the US with regards to our food safety. What does that mean? Well, for starters the second guy at the FDA is a Monzanto guy and guess what? We are going to cut some red tape with regards to “potential” regulatory burden: What does that mean? Watch Farmageddon and find out!

    • TheContrarian 6.1

      Yeah, don’t think you are on the right page, conspiracy boy.

      • Tom 6.1.1

        To TheContrarian: Has Monsanto, the FDA, the USA, the NZ and/or any other government directly or indirectly instructed or requested that you write supporting any of their actions, policies or positions, or helped to organize or in any way supported you in making any writings?

  7. Polish Pride 7

    Well you have a govt which is right of centre and deals in corporate welfare.
    You like all countries have a monetary system.
    Those on the left want to redistribute wealth away from the wealthy in the form of taxation to various social programmes and benefits (unemployment, sickness and so on)

    Those on the right want to redistribute wealth in the opposite direction.
    The mechanisms that they use to do this are..
    Taxation which is then used to redistribute wealth away from workers to the shareholding class through corporate welfare and tax breaks.
    The other mechanism that they use is the company CEO. His/her role is to have the corporation running as ‘efficiently’ as possible.
    The tools he/she uses to do this are:
    Restructures – designed to take out layers of middle management on mass.
    Automation – designed to replace the jobs that workers do enabling further restructures to eliminate more of the companies workforce whilst retaining or in some cases increasing productivity (machines and computer systems can work 24/7 and don’t require a lunch break.
    Offshoring – designed to send those jobs that are still required, overseas where pay rates are lower and labour laws are more flexible or non existent.
    Govt Grants and tax breaks – free money from the tax payer. But you need to be in the right industry to be able to take advantage of this one.
    In order to ‘incentivise’ CEOs to achieve these goals they are paid higher and higher sums. This is why you have a more and more unequal system. But you always will with the current system.

    The other thing the right does is keep the middle class focussed on
    A: how much money the left wants to take from them in the way of taxes for their social policies
    B: the number of Unemployed receiving a benefit and contributing nothing to society (beneficiaries bad)
    C: That it is businesses and corporates that supply much needed jobs (Jobs good, Corporations good, beneficiaries bad, left wing govt wanting to take more of your money bad).

    Of course you have more than half of the working and middle class that buy the rhetoric and vote right. Then because of the effects of the Rwing policies that lead cuts to things that the workers and middle class need. Things like health education, public service etc. All of this including cuts to benefits leads to less people working, less money being spent in the economy, businesses find it harder, not as much profit, have to lay off staff through restructure, less people spending money, economy shrinks………..Until people again decide to vote left.

    This whole process is then repeated over and over in many countries around the world.
    This is the reason that all we ever do is shift a little to the right, then a little to the left, then right, then left
    But nothing ever really changes
    It is the Left vs Right paradigm and is why the system fails to ever fix the real problems we face. (It can’t) and why the system doesn’t work.
    But you will persist and will continue to cry Left Left Left. And when your party is in power you will think that all is right with the world again.
    The problems won’t get fixed (I don’t mean tinkered with, I mean fixed) they never do.
    Then they will inevitably be voted out and replaced by the R wing govt again.
    You will scratch your heads and ask why?
    You will say we must do this or we must do that, You will say our leader is shit, we must replace him/her.
    All the while not realising that it is just that time within the system, and while the current system remains it will never change. +

    Can the problems we have be fixed. Yes of course! But not by Labour or National. Not by Mana, the Greens or any other political party. And of course not by the current system.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      The hammer of climate change and energy depletion is coming down.

      Pretty soon the accumulated billions of the wealthy ain’t going to be worth what they think its worth.

      • Polish Pride 7.1.1

        Yes there could very well be more and more devastating weather events that will affect and potentially kill millions but we have already seen evidence around the world in many countries of militarisation of the police force, changes to legislation to remove freedoms and increase survelance. The smaller the population becomes, the easier it is to control. For many, what you say might well be the case. For those at the top I don’t think that this will matter. Hell if I was them it would be part of the plan.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Can the problems we have be fixed. Yes of course! But not by Labour or National. Not by Mana, the Greens or any other political party.

      A political party could fix them if they got into government and they were willing to accept tat the current system doesn’t work and thus be willing to replace the current system

      Don’t see that happening with the current political parties though :(

      • Polish Pride 7.2.1

        DTC – This I do agree with and for it to even be possible a significant percentage of the population would need to wake up to and understand the failings of the system.

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          That’s why we have sites like this – to help educate people about the shortcomings of the present system. Once people know that and start questioning even more then enough will, eventually, become knowledgeable enough to demand such a change. The problem is that the people who believe otherwise are trying to prevent that needed change.

  8. Polish Pride 8

    Please don’t be surprised by this. This is the system you continue to vote for each time.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      You don’t get to vote for “the system” in NZ elections. Well, except very occasionally through MMP referenda etc

      • Polish Pride 8.1.1

        You know my thoughts on this – your vote is participation in and therefore tacit approval of the system

        • QoT 8.1.1.1

          ‘Cause Gods forbid anyone even attempt incremental improvements instead of raeg-quitting when they can’t have earthshattering regime change overnight.

          • Polish Pride 8.1.1.1.1

            perhaps you should read my original post again. Perhaps you should inform those living in poverty and those in war torn countries just wait a few more centuries were busy making incremental changes here.
            The changes that need to be made will not be made by any of the existing parties. None of them have the first clue on what the problems are that a good system needs to solve.
            Here’s a clue it’s neither of the problems mentioned above.

          • Polish Pride 8.1.1.1.2

            Perhaps you should reread my original post. The system is incapable of solving the problems. Better yet send out a memo to all those living in poverty, living with war, living in substandard housing or not able to afford a house, just hang on a few more centuries, we’re busy making incremental changes over here.

            The current parties will not solve the problems. They do not even know the primary problem that the system needs to solve. At best they tinker around the edges (this will be the incremental changes you refer to) and make changes that will improve something a tad for one group but create another problem elsewhere.

            Sorry but things are getting worse not better and it is time to stop pissing about with incremental changes. What I am doing is hardly rage-quitting I simply have my eyes open to the failings of the system and the parties within it so prefer to spend my time and energy helping people understand why things are getting worse, not better and will only continue to do so. I see no point in supporting (voting) something that will not give us the outcomes we want and will result in making a section of the populations lives worse in doing so by the actions of which ever party is in power.

          • Polish Pride 8.1.1.1.3

            apologies for the double post – my screen crashed on submitting the first one so I didn’t think it had registered.

  9. Michael 9

    New Zealand currently leads Australia in the race to the bottom. Low wages and relatively high living costs drive migration from NZ to Oz. The picture may be starting to change with the slowdown in the Australian economy, especially if it extends to the minerals sector. If employment opportunities in Oz contract, look for signs of NZers desperate to return home – and of the Oz government keen to see them go.

  10. The Chairman 10

    Simon Bridges announced a 25-cent increase in the minimum wage, saying he wanted to balance protecting low income earners, employers, and jobs.

    He said there comes a point when you are putting people out of jobs and was clear $15 an hour would put people out of jobs.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/busi ness/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&o bjectid=10867938

    There also comes a point when the question needs to be asked, how long can we continue to sustain poorly performing businesses that can’t afford to pay a living wage?

    These poor investment choices, paying poor returns, are a drag on our overall economy.

    When are we going to address that balance?

    We can’t afford to continue paying low wages to sustain poorly performing businesses.

    A correction is required.

    Lifting the minimum wage will help drive the required change in investment.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Auditor-General exposes Key’s scapegoating of Council
    The National Government's blaming of Auckland Council for the city’s housing crisis has been exposed as scapegoating in the Office of the Auditor-General’s latest report, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Auditor-General says Auckland Council’s part in fixing the… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Reform – not money – needed for meat sector
    The National Government continues to throw good money after bad at the meat industry instead of addressing the fundamental problem of its dysfunctional structure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The latest Primary Growth Partnership grant to the venison… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government cuts corners on school bus funding
    The safety of children – not cost cutting – should be the main objective behind the Government’s funding of school buses, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Buried in the detail of this year’s Budget are $19 million of funding… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Women the losers under National’s cuts
    National’s poor performance in appointing women to state sector boards is set to get worse with funding cuts to the nomination service provided by the Ministry for Women, Labour’s Woman’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Minister for Women Louise Upston… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Help sought by agencies now asked to help
    The organisation Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has tasked with setting up an emergency hotline for stranded Relationships Aotearoa clients has just lost a bid for a government contract to launch a new national helpline, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson… ...
    2 hours ago
  • Wellington got loud again on climate
    On Monday night, in Wellington, I attended the last of the Government’s climate target consultation meetings. It was quite well attended with maybe 150 people, not bad for a second meeting with very little notice and, as far as I… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 hours ago
  • Final nail in coffin for Solid Energy workers
    Today’s confirmation of job losses at Solid Energy’s Stockton and Spring Creek mines shows the urgent need for new economic opportunities on the West Coast, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our economy can no longer rely on… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Ramadi proves Iraq deployment high risk, low benefit
    The fall of Ramadi and the collapse of the Iraqi Army proves Labour was right to be concerned about the deployment of our troops to Iraq, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says. “The fall of Ramadi brings IS fighters within… ...
    21 hours ago
  • English admits new taxes on the cards
    Eight months after pledging “no new taxes” at the election Bill English today admitted he would bring in more sneaky taxes along the lines of the border tax, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Not only did National bring in… ...
    22 hours ago
  • What the Dickens is going on at SDHB?
    Problems at the financially-strapped Southern District Health Board appear to stretch to its HR department with information obtained by Labour showing it still records staff leave entitlements using manual book-keeping methods. “The Board’s draft 10-year plan document forecasts a cumulative… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Teachers turn backs on new professional body
      The fact that just 56 per cent of nominations for the Education Council came from registered teachers shows the profession has turned its back on Hekia Parata’s new professional body, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Answers to written… ...
    22 hours ago
  • No spade work done on big building plan
      Only a quarter of the 500 hectares of Crown land the Government wants to use for new homes is understood to be suitable for building on, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “This was National’s bold new idea to… ...
    23 hours ago
  • National: Seven KiwiSaver cuts in seven years
    National’s campaign of KiwiSaver cuts has reached seven in seven years as it dismantles KiwiSaver block by block, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “KiwiSaver is critical to establishing a savings culture in New Zealand but National has taken a jenga-style… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Tolley’s actions contradict reassurances
    Social Development Minister Anne Tolley has serious questions to answer following the forced closure of Relationships Aotearoa just days after her reassurances she was looking at ways to keep the service operating, Labour’s Acting Social Development spokesperson Annette King says.… ...
    1 day ago
  • SkyCity downsize another broken promise
    The downsized SkyCity Convention Centre does not deliver on the promised iconic world-class centre and shows the true extent of Steven Joyce’s incompetence, Labour Leader Andrew Little said today. “New Zealanders were promised an iconic world-class convention centre that would… ...
    1 day ago
  • Te Arawa partnership model a step closer
    Councils around New Zealand have an opportunity to improve their consultation with Iwi Māori by following Rotorua District Council’s Te Arawa Partnership Model, Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Rotorua District Council will today decide whether to adopt… ...
    1 day ago
  • Labour mourns Dame Dorothy Fraser
    Labour Leader Andrew Little said the party is today mourning the loss of the youngest person to join the Labour Party, Dame Dorothy Fraser, who went on to be a stalwart of the Dunedin community and tireless worker for others.… ...
    2 days ago
  • The ultimate scapegoat: PM blames fruit fly for new tax
    The Prime Minister has found the ultimate scapegoat for breaking his promise not to introduce a new tax – the Queensland fruit fly, Labour’s Biosecurity spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “John Key’s first policy upon taking office and assigning himself the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    4 days ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    5 days ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    5 days ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    5 days ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    5 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    5 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    6 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    6 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    6 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    1 week ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    1 week ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    1 week ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    1 week ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    1 week ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    1 week ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere