The living wage campaign is announcing this week the results of its study into the pay that a family needs to afford the basics for a decent life in New Zealand. It’ll be around $18-$20 an hour, which is more than 40% of workers get. I look forward to the proposal receiving strong support from the parties of the Left – the Left has always said a well-paying job is better than welfare.
I also expect to hear the same old rich buggers saying it’s ‘unaffordable’. But it’s not.
This is a rich country – it’s just a question of how we spread the wealth. A decent life for all (generated by a sustainable economy) should be our first and highest goal.
Oh, and good on the Herald for its living wage series, which kicks off today.
I’m particularly interested in how many low and middle wage workers have been forced to become ‘contractors’, who are sold as independent business people but are, in fact, slaves with no work rights and who (as Mainzeal workers are finding) stand last in line for their money if something goes wrong. The rules around permanent jobs being done by dependent contractors need to be strengthen and there need to be requirements for businesses to take out insurance for money they owe contractors.