It seems Act’s influx of new MPs has caused it to radically reassess its policy on minimum wage.
“If minimum wages don’t reduce the number of jobs available, and we can legislate our way to greater prosperity, left-wing groups should be advocating for a much higher minimum wage than $22.10 an hour,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Labour and the Helen Clark Foundation claim there’s no cost to raising the minimum wage and that we can boost productivity and grow the economy by passing new laws.
“If that’s the case, why not advocate for a minimum wage of $50 an hour?
Imagine living in a country where the minimum wage put everyone on an income in the vicinity of $100,000 a year if they worked full time. Child poverty would be annihilated, the effects as people spent more would flow through the economy and put it on steroids.
But I wonder how David’s funders would feel? Because it would take one huge tax increase to pay for it. And industries based on minimum wage employment would find things very hard.
Of course there was a catch. Seymour claimed that MBIE’s advice to the Government is that a living wage would reduce the number of available jobs by 30,000. This is as fantastical as his advocating for a $50 an hour minimum wage. It is very clear that our economic woes are not caused by working people getting paid too much but by them not being paid enough.
And Seymour’s argument is a logical fallacy, arguing that a reasonable increase is bad because we cannot afford a dramatic increase.
But if Seymour is saying that if we can persuade ACT that trickle down economics is not working they will change their view on the living wage I for one am up to that challenge.