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Derisory minimum wage

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, February 27th, 2013 - 90 comments
Categories: class war, national, poverty, wages - Tags:

The minimum wage should be at least $15 per hour (as Labour MP David Clark’s bill proposed). A living wage is estimated at $18.40 per hour. So what have the Nats done? Raised the minimum wage by $0.25 per hour to $13.75. It’s a derisory increase. Even their own supporters think so, with the Maori Party calling it “pitiful”.

The justification usual justification for pathetic increases in the minimum wage is that significant increases will “cost jobs” – it’s being trotted out this time round too of course. Obviously there is some level at which that would occur, but reasonable increases are beneficial to the economy, not damaging. We’ve covered this before at The Standard (lots and lots and lots), but if you don’t believe us, perhaps you’ll believe Treasury:

Raising minimum wage won’t cost jobs – Treasury

“[On job losses…] This has not been true in the past. The balance of probabilities is that a higher minimum wage does not cost jobs.”

There can be only one effect of NZ wages falling further and further behind what is livable, and what is available outside NZ. Here’s Herald cartoonist Body’s summary
body-minimum-wage

90 comments on “Derisory minimum wage ”

  1. geoff 1

    Simon Bridges keeps getting handed the dead rats from Key etc. He’s the male version of Hekia Parata.

  2. Tom Gould 2

    The minimum wage should be $20 an hour with no youth rates. End of. The economy would quickly adjust.

    • TightyRighty 2.1

      Idiot.

      • geoff 2.1.1

        douche bag traitor

        • Arfamo 2.1.1.1

          The arguments here are being reduced to the essentials lol.

          • Colonial Weka 2.1.1.1.1

            lol.

          • geoff 2.1.1.1.2

            Absolutely! Sometimes I just wish there was a bugspray we could use on the RWNJs.

            • TighyRighty 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Threatening people? Real classy. No ban for you though.

              Call me a fucking traitor? How much tax do you pay each year? Bludging scum. I barely earned $20 an hour till my mid twenties. Why does some inexperienced grommet deserve it off the bat?

              You are retarded.

              • QoT

                And how old are you now, TR? Little concept called “inflation” mean anything to you? CPI increases? Bueller?

                And of course because you weren’t paid well, no one should be paid well. And when you stole the other kids’ lunch money it was okay because older kids stole your lunch money.

              • Colonial Viper

                I barely earned $20 an hour till my mid twenties. Why does some inexperienced grommet deserve it off the bat?

                I always knew that Right Wingers enjoy holding back NZ’s young, while they lap up the cream for themselves.

              • geoff

                @tightyrighty:
                You are a traitor to this country.
                Anyone who holds views like yours should be done for treason. You’re a selfish, pathetic excuse for a person who’d throw the whole country under a bus if it suited his purpose.
                You’ve got absolutely no gratitude for the things people in this country built up by working together for the good of everyone. You’re an ignorant fool who’s stupid and arrogant enough to think that he’s a self-made man.
                Yep, you’re a traitor alright.
                Oh yeah.. a wee nonce like you wouldn’t have paid a tenth of the tax that I have in my lifetime and continue to do so.
                What kind of an idiot would think how much tax you paid beared any relationship to your loyalty to the people of his country. You’re a fucking tosser.

              • The Al1en

                “Call me a fucking traitor? How much tax do you pay each year? Bludging scum. I barely earned $20 an hour till my mid twenties. Why does some inexperienced grommet deserve it off the bat?
                You are retarded.”

                You use false logic to make your argument.

                “How much tax do you pay each year?”

                Not as much as you, I’d wager, but that’s got fuck all to do about fuck all. Plenty of leeches getting tax payer dollars at the top end of the scale – The pm being one of them.

                “Bludging scum”

                Citation is the word I’ve seen the clever people use, but too many letters.
                I name that tune in 4.

                “I barely earned $20 an hour till my mid twenties.”

                See, told you you paid more tax than me.

                “Why does some inexperienced grommet deserve it off the bat?”

                Equal days work, equal days pay. Simple, simple.
                What next? Why does some women/black/gay deserve it off the bat?

                “You are retarded.”

                Still trumps selfish twat.

  3. Addison 3

    And wont the trade unions want differentials maintained? If a 16 year old just out of school with no experience gets $20 what are you going to pay an experienced worker with 4 kids and 10 years loyal service. Don’t you think the ensuing cost rise will end up costing pensioners, the unemployed etc on fixed incomes or don’t they count with you!

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      You don’t honestly think that youth will mass submit to take the same job at lower pay than every one else?

      They are young and have options. Let’s not forget if they jump countries permanently then we can kiss their global taxes goodbye for our retirements.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Forget the taxes provided by the young to support your retirement

        It’ll be the Indonesian doctors and rest home care givers you can barely understand which you’ll notice the most.

    • QoT 3.2

      If you aren’t giving people payrises to match 10 years’ loyal service you’re a pretty shit employer and your business probably deserves to fail.

  4. Darien Fenton 4

    Anthony : the NActs voted down David Clark’s $15 minimum wage bill, just like they voted down my Minimum Wage and Remuneration Bill and SOP which would have brought about a $15 minimum wage for all workers and contractors.

    • bad12 4.1

      Perhaps the first piece of legislation passed by the Parliament after the 2014 election would need to be a bill lifting the minimum wage by $1.50 and hour over the following 3 years???,

      A piece of Legislation that need be part of Labour’s election strategy in my opinion…

      • bad12 4.1.1

        Lolz, the edit function got me again, on second thoughts i got me again and the edit function didn’t save me,

        The above should read: Legislation to lift the minimum wage by $1.50 an hour for each of the following 3 years,

        The ideal would be to have the minimum rise by that $1.50 an hour over each year for the following 5 years…

        [lprent: You’ll be pleased to know that the first product goes out the door tonight, and all I am doing right now is removing debug statements. The fixes I was to do last weekend for the edit got submerged in a weekend of work work and Lyn’s desire to get out of the city for the day on sunday. They will have to be done around a wedding this weekend.

        But I have weeks of holiday and spare time starting tomorrow. ]

        • rosy 4.1.1.1

          I reckon the minimum wage should be a percentage of the median wage rather than raising it by a fixed amount. That way the lowest paid won’t lose ground and employers might think twice about disproportionate increases at the top end of the salary scale.

          • McFlock 4.1.1.1.1

            not a bad idea, that.

            Maybe 65 or 70% of median adapted for a 37.5hr week (incl paid lunch breaks), given that the poverty line is regarded as being either 50 or 60% of median (depending on measure).

            I’d probably also consider median income, rather than median wage, given that employment income is often the sole source of income for those on the minimum, whereas better off folk might have rents, investments, etc.

          • Lanthanide 4.1.1.1.2

            “That way the lowest paid won’t lose ground and employers might think twice about disproportionate increases at the top end of the salary scale.”

            In that case you want average, not median. With the median, if someone goes from earning $1m a year to $100m a year, it doesn’t change the median at all. But it would shift the average/mean a little bit.

            • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.2.1

              You got it Lanth. Avg is what it should be pegged to.

              Better still, pegged to the % movement of the the upper quartile 🙂

          • Addison 4.1.1.1.3

            As long as pensions and benefits follow as well! Remember some of us are trying to live on a pension and that equates to a wage of $4.5 an hour for a 40 hour week,

          • xtasy 4.1.1.1.4

            The problem with that is that either median or average wages in NZ are low by international comparison. So that is exactly how this government tries to get away with the increase by 25 cents an hour insult to low paid workers. They claim that by international standards the minimum wage here is comparatively high.

            We have a whole kettle of problems when it comes to wages and salaries, and most Kiwis earn rather moderately or lowly, compared to most countries NZ likes to compare with. Australia is the closest comparison, and NZ is a laughing stock compared to wages and salaries paid there.

            • Addison 4.1.1.1.4.1

              No minimum in the US and only aboutNZ $11 in the UK yet uUK average wages are much higher!

              • xtasy

                Addison: there is to my knowledge a minimum wage in the US, and I am not sure whether it is about 8 USD or thereabouts, but there is.

                The UK is another story.

                NZ always prided itself for being more “egalitarian” and social, but this appears to have been abandoned, surely under this government.

        • bad12 4.1.1.2

          Enjoy the wedding, my bad habit is to press submit comment without first reading my mangled English to see if it actually makes any sense,

          Have got the spelling edit sorted and will learn sooner or later the other art…

    • Rogue Trooper 4.2

      lovely and Red

  5. Kia Ora

    Does this latest rise even beat the rate of inflation, or will it just get swallowed up?

    http://willsheberight.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/minimum-wage-increase-is-a-joke/

  6. McFlock 6

    just, based on december qrtr CPI. Thanks to national’s brighter 0.9% inflation “brighter future”. They’ll probably spin it in the region of “double CPI”.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    peanuts Galen?

  8. xtasy 8

    The NatACT treacherous government try to “justify” their insulting increase by yet another 25 cents an hour by saying, that the NZ minimum wage is so high in comparison with other countries. They claim that it is relatively high to the average wage in NZ, which though is very low, on international comparison with similar economies.

    On that basis they are misleading the public and media, justifying a low wage economy.

    Real wages and salaries, measured on cost of living expenses due for housing, food, clothing, transport and what else comes into play are LOW in NZ.

    You can buy NZ grown food and meat at a much lower rate in most European supermarkets, after being shipped there across half of the globe. Also looking at rents and the likes, you will find lower rents per ratio on income in most OECD countries, same as other living costs.

    The government is the most manipulative gang of liars there are, and John Key is the leader of that dishonest gang!

    This “increase” is an insult to all working people that have no choice but to accept what their more powerful employer dictates to them in pseudo “negotiations”. Take it or leave it is the usual approach. The alternative is a shitty income on the benefit, but Paula Benefit (herself) is doing all to make life even more miserable for those that cannot find jobs, that are sick, disabled or sole parents, with her draconian, inhumance and illegal Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill before Parliament right now.

    Sad fact is, the brain drain due to tens of thousands leaving NZ every year leaves a below average IQ population of “Kiwi battlers”, that rather roll over and take another hit, than stand up for their rights and a decent society. It is a sick and lost society, that is NZ under Key in 2013!

  9. Addison 9

    See http://www.stats.OECD.org/index.aspx?DatasetCode=RHMW This gives a comparison adjusted for Cost of living in all OECD countries. NZ is in the top third. Countries close to our economic situation like the US and UK have lower rates.

    • xtasy 9.1

      Addison – your link does not load, is that for an ominous reason?

      Cost of living is interesting, and it is certaily sky high in NZ, where you pay for meat, fruit and fish more than in countries to where it exports to. I can tell from bloody experience, so figures alone are not convincing me. I have real life experience having seen NZ fruit offered there at a fraction of retail prices here, same as butter, venison and more. Stop fooling others with misleading figures and claims, thanks.

      How can produce cost nearly half as much compared to NZ retail, after being shipped around the globe to Europe???

  10. addison 10

    Try and google OECD stats minimum wage, see if that helps. Maybe its that there is no GST on primary foods in the UK that makes many food items cheaper there.When I came to NZ the pound was worth $3.3 it dropping to less than $2 cant help either. Can you give me source for the figure that say we are low down the OECD stats in Min wage , it would be appreciated. I also find the term brain drain a bit controversial. My doctor is from the UK, my doggies vet from Australia and my dentist from Scotland!

    • xtasy 10.1

      “I also find the term brain drain a bit controversial. My doctor is from the UK, my doggies vet from Australia and my dentist from Scotland!”

      That is because the government desperately attempts to fill the brain drain hole. Whether the ones coming in actully fill it is another story. It is not just IQ by the way, it also needs to address experience, which some will learn to get.

      • addison 10.1.1

        nz products cost 50% less in UK. Well just googled Tescos latest on NZ wine and Lamb. Lamb$22 a kilo with noGST on that and villa maria at $25 abottle. At you “stop fooling others with misleading figures and claims!

        • xtasy 10.1.1.1

          “nz products cost 50% less in UK”

          That is your quote, I take it for that, thank you!

          • addison 10.1.1.1.1

            just quoting you and that seems to be inaccurate. Do you want to back up your figures, I can!

  11. Arfamo 11

    They’re probably able to choose where they want to live and work as they’re probably not trying to pay off their student loans and get established.

    • addison 11.1

      arfano, many come here for the salaries. My partner is a nurse she earns a lot more here than she would have had she stayed in CORNWALL. nearly 50% more and that’s allowing for the exchange rate. MY even older than I parents in law are moving to NZ because the cost of living is less.

      • xtasy 11.1.1

        Who pays you from the government to tell us this?

        • addison 11.1.1.1

          Why is that always your fall back line when you cant back your argument with facts. THE GOVERNMENT ONLY PAYS ME VIA MY PENSION! sadly at 66 years old I am nearly unemployable in NZ. I am just a rescector of the truth and adversary of lies that cant be substanciated.

      • xtasy 11.1.2

        If that is so her skills may not have convince Australian health care providers, as they pay much, much better than nz. So what “issues” are you hiding?

        • addison 11.1.2.1

          yes she has limited skills, a degree in biology, and a masters in \Nursing, registered in the UK, NZ and AUSTRALIA, yes she could work in Aus and the US and earn even more. But you know our philosophy is that there is more to life than money. We work to live, not live to work, or at least I did until old age caught up with me.

          • xtasy 11.1.2.1.1

            So is it perhaps that lifestyle choices became priority to wage and salary expectations, and that the UK is sinking fast, that NZ seemed to be the best option, while in reality other options may have existed, but were not pursued?

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.2.1.2

            arfano, many come here for the salaries.

            Nah, that’s a daft reason to come to NZ.

            But nursing salaries here are fine if you’ve come over with £100,000 in cash to start a new life with.

            For a new nursing grad looking to build up some capital, NZ is an unattractive place to stay.

            • addison 11.1.2.1.2.1

              your right CV but that’s true most places. Its a ridiculous situation that NZ nurse go to AUS, can live rent free and get a better wage plus a bonus when they leave. Aus doctors come to nz ,get paid locum rates on short term contracts and make more than their high salaries in AUS. We don’t respect qualifications. My son wanted to emigrate to NZ as a computer wiz. his salary would have droppedfrom $200 000 to $50 000. Nzs loss last year he started his own consulting company. He employs 8 people and pays the $600 a day, NZs loss, he UKs gain.

              • Colonial Viper

                And yet you have been arguing that wages in NZ can’t go up any more. You better get your story straight.

          • xtasy 11.1.2.1.3

            addison: Yeah right:

            “But you know our philosophy is that there is more to life than money.”

            Hah, that is the enforced servitude that so many “Kiwi battlers” endure, they work their guts out for the paymaster and for their landlords and rip-off retailers and wholesalers, selling them stuff that costs much less in places like most of Europe, the US and other countries.

            There is more to life than money, in looking at your angle, you seem to believe submission and servitude is a virtue, rather than common sense and applying true intelligence, by also questioning the state of affairs.

            John Key’s dumbing down agenda is surely working when looking at so many.

            Get a life and take a deep breath, drink some clean, pure water and clense your vision and comprehension, maybe you will see more than that you are sold by the BS artists running this country?

      • Arfamo 11.1.3

        Ok Addison. Interesting.

        • Arfamo 11.1.3.1

          Out of curiosity I just googled “cost of living comparison nz uk”. First up on the hit list was this site:

          http://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/compare_countries_result.jsp?country1=United+Kingdom&country2=New+Zealand

          Indexes Difference:

          Consumer Prices in New Zealand are 12.07% higher than in United Kingdom
          Consumer Prices Including Rent in New Zealand are 11.73% higher than in United Kingdom
          Rent Prices in New Zealand are 10.82% higher than in United Kingdom
          Restaurant Prices in New Zealand are 0.45% higher than in United Kingdom
          Groceries Prices in New Zealand are 20.80% higher than in United Kingdom
          Local Purchasing Power in New Zealand is 5.40% lower than in United Kingdom

          The page says (at bottom) last update February 2013

      • xtasy 11.1.4

        The UK must be really f**ked under the Con Lib government then, so that people seek refuge even in NZ. I think that it looks a bit better in the sliding UK in Central and Northern Europe.

        • addison 11.1.4.1

          I think it was stuffed long before the right got in. Its been on the slippery slope for a while now, I think it was called the EEC.

          • xtasy 11.1.4.1.1

            But apart from that, would you not want that every working person, who makes a decent effort, to earn enough to afford a living? We do not want to compare with Indonesia by the way.

            • addison 11.1.4.1.1.1

              Of course I would love us all to have more but do you think that for one minute the added costs wont be passed on. government would put up taxes, councils will put up rates and businesses will put up prices. WHO PAYS, ALL OF US. who does it hurt most, pensioners and beneficiaries. WHO DOES IT HURT THE LEAST, THE BOSSES!

              • Colonial Viper

                BULLSHIT

                You’re simply talking about Tories taxing the bottom 80% of society.

                When a substantial majority of the wealth of society is held by the top 20%. It is they who need to pay more taxes

                PS in case you haven’t connected the dots…higher tax takes should mean better salaries in healthcare as well as more equipment and improved staffing

              • Colonial Viper

                Also, where the frak do you think that tax monies taken from the wealthiest people in the economy actually go?

                Let me clue you up: straight back into the economy, providing services for you and me, salaries for thousands of teachers and doctors, buying products and activity from suppliers across the nation.

                • addison

                  and the money that is not taken in taxes, is that not spent.Is that not invested in business and therefore jobs. Do you believe that giving people less to spend will stimulate the economy. If so do you want to reduce the minimum wage as well. just think of how much more money the government would have to spend then. People stimulate the economy. successful businesses stimulate the economy, It seems you want to increase taxes, ie take money from the workers and give it to the pollies to spend but you want them to have that replace d by increasing the cost of government by upping their wage bill. Abit of an inflationary spiral. Wages going up is not the answer to a boom economy, increase production is. NZ, very low production for the OECD and in the top third for wages. Not a good plan.

                  • Arfamo

                    “and the money that is not taken in taxes, is that not spent.Is that not invested in business and therefore jobs.”

                    No. I don’t think it is invested in business and jobs. It is invested in finance markets, and properties, and wherever it will earn the greatest return to the owner, not in creating jobs. Investing in telecom will be great for returns, but not for creating jobs. They’re shedding them, eh, to give their shareholders and management even more money.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Contact as well. Hundreds of millions in profits over the last few years, but dumping even more staff now in order that they can send even more profits overseas.

                      Frankly, addison has a very distorted idea of how money in the economy works.

                      Money is being pumped out of NZ as we speak.

                    • Arfamo

                      The thing about those with wealth is that many often have a deep fear, however much they have, that something bad might happen and they will lose it all. It becomes a self-reinforcing cycle. “I have to have more money in case the economy turns to shit or my investments go down the toilet and I lose everything. So I back any government that lets me make more money, even if the only real way for me to do this is via policies that make other hard-working less wealth-driven people poorer.”

                      The problem is that as more people get poorer spending decreases and the economy turns to shit, jobs disappear, people who do have jobs have to work harder and longer and more of them get injured or sick through stress. Welfare costs correspondingly increase, as does crime when the government next starts to reduce the numbers on welfare, and the amounts paid, and scapegoats them in carefully propagandised campaigns for being bludgers.

                      So the wealthiest keep perpetuating the cycle – until the numbers of those struggling to have some kind of reasonably comfortable modern lifestyle increase to the point where the government’s bullshit doesn’t work any more and the way is open for any party that has even a halfway decent looking programme to raise living standards for the now poorer majority to be voted in. That party has to have a strategy for dealing with the business community to prevent panic and capital flight. Clark & Cullen managed that.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Frankly, addison has a very distorted idea of how money in the economy works.

                      His view is the one taught at university. Thing is, it’s a load of bollocks as the private sector doesn’t actually create the wealth in the first place.

          • xtasy 11.1.4.1.2

            addison”: Do not blame the ills of the UK on the EU, thank you. The EU have given the UK special treatment and deals on a lot of things, just to keep them happy.

            Also through trade the UK has been able to take advantage of a large, duty free and low barrier market at their doorstep, which sadly, the mostly tory minded governments never learned to appreciate. They always complain about the EU, in some cases the may have a reason, but ask people that have human rights issues in the UK, what they think of the EU top court. They are granted rights that the UK courts never gave them.

            It is still some lingering class mentality in the UK that is keeping that country backward.

            No wonder so many retired UK residents did choose to settle for retirement in Spain and Italy, to enjoy the sun and other benefits.

            But since the GFC has had its fall-out there, they now rubbish their adopted countries there.

            Where are the loyalties of so many in the UK, especially their government, many in Europe ask. Cheap shots by Cameron are just another display of isolationism and attempts to get the best both ways. At some stage you lose a lot of friends with such strategies.

            By the way, I read a lot about the welfare slashing in the UK, and the same will be introduced here. If that is “progress”, I rather sink six feet under over night.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.1.5

        ahhh, the land of Poldark, (and Doc Martins)

  12. addison 12

    Fine CV just tell me what the new Labour tax rates should be. Do you not think higher wages wont mean higher prices. IF NOT WHERE DO BUSINESSES AND COUNCILS GET THE MONEY FROM? as nurses are already paid more than minimum wage please explain how there wages will rise.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Easy peasey, simply move the share of the economy that wages have (compared to the share going to company profits) back to 1960’s and 1970’s levels. Tax levels too.

      It’s nothing new or innovative. We’ve done it before, during the boom years of global middle class growth*.

      *The new wrinkle is energy and resource depletion, but we’ll start here for now.

  13. addison 13

    AH back to the future,is that the new innovative policy from the new innovative Labour front bench? I am sure that will work. Going back 50 years soundslike a Green plan! Are you hiding something.:)

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Financial and economic innovation is something the world can do without mate.

      FFS did you not learn anything from the Thatcher years.

      • Addison 13.1.1

        Did you not learn what got the country 13 years of thatcher and the demise of militant unions in the UK. The end of Labour and the Birth of New Labour!

  14. Arfamo 14

    We are already back 50 years. We’ve been in the situation we have now before, with the well-to-do of the country having their interests put before everyone else’s – on the false premise that they deserve to have more say over how we are governed than the feckless poor and low paid – who will only gamble and drink away any pay increases. If you read our history you can see the same cycles, and the same bullshit, and the same selfishness and lack of empathy from those fortune has smiled upon, but who think their success is down to their “hard work” and “smarts” and can be replicated by anyone who works hard.

  15. Addison 15

    My final word before going to sleep. Last OECD survey: NZ 22 nd for production. Per capita. NZ third for minimum wage compared to median wage. OECD stats not mine!

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      Addison wants to keep the poor, poor. Sad man.

      • xtasy 15.1.1

        Colonial Viper: Another “battler”, I dare to presume. Poor diet, poor mind, poor soul and hence a lot of a “bitter” grudge against anyone asking for a “fair deal”, as he or she feels it was never given to him/her.

    • xtasy 15.2

      Addison: That is minimum wage based on average or median wage, I presume, which is not that great, when compared with most of Europe!

  16. Arfamo 16

    Raising productivity requires lifting the value of goods & services currently produced per worker or increasing the volume of goods and services per hours worked. While we may be below the OECD average for productivity, we’re not that far below it. Driving (or holding) wages down, or reducing the number of workers, might see some improvement in productivity figures, but productivity is only part of the equation that makes up a modern economy. If the numbers of jobless increase so do flow-on costs to governments, especially in the areas of health, unemployment benefit numbers, and crime, all of which require more non-productive expenditure by the government.

    Even Treasury has noted that raising the minimum wage has not cost jobs in the past and is unlikely to do so in the future.

  17. NoseViper (The Nose knows) 17

    Chris Trotter on the unions and the Living Wage push.
    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2013/02/the-living-wage-campaign-solidarity-or.html

  18. Snoop Dogg 18

    Guuuyyyyyyyyyyyysssss. You need to calm down dudes. I know exactly what you guys neeeeeeed. It rhymes with feed.

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