Phil Goff has come out strongly in anticipation of today’s minimum wage announcement from the Government with a call for an immediate increase to $13 an hour, rising to $15 over three years.
As he points out, if National only increases the minimum wage from $12 to $12.50 an hour as the DoL suggests, that represents an increase of just 9 cents an hour – or $3.60 a week – after inflation is taken into account.
“$3.60 a week doesn’t even buy a small block of cheese that John Key used to be so fond of talking about.
‘In difficult times, the burden too often falls on those already finding it hardest to survive,’ Phil Goff said.
‘Our lowest paid people in shops, offices and factories struggle to make ends meet. Every hard working New Zealander is entitled to a wage they can live on.
What’s more, the $3.60 will be eaten away further when National’s April 1 tax increases on low-middle income families are taken into account.
‘The lower paid, particularly families, were also the ones to lose rather than benefit from the tax changes legislated by National before Christmas,’ Phil Goff said.
‘As the Minister of Finance admitted, nearly three quarters of a billion dollars was stripped from the pockets of low and middle income families compared to the tax changes Labour legislated for.
“By contrast those in the top income brackets benefited by hundreds of dollars a week.
“It’s time for some fairness,” Phil Goff said.