Reports suggest that the government is set to raise the minimum wage to $12 an hour. Coming toward the start of 2008, this would mark the ninth rise in as many years.
When it comes to income, one trick ponies John Key and National would like you to believe that the only thing that counts is the tax rate. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Dom reports that this latest modest rise to the minimum wage will be worth around $30 a week to the 200,000 or so workers on the lowest pay rates. While some may claim that the minimum wage still isn’t high enough let’s not forget the alternative. Over the years National have opposed rises to the minimum wage at nearly every turn. Their record is shameful – John Key desperately wants you to forget the injustice of the National-90s. Just check out the graph below.
In nine years in government the Nats raised the minimum wage only three times.
In nine years under the Nats the minimum wage rose a mere 88 cents.
That’s less than 10 cents a year.
I’d call it “pocket change” but it’s not. The astounding fact is that the Nats were so miserly that we don’t even have a coin of low enough denomination in our circulating currency for the Nats to have added it to your hourly pay.
Workrights are going to be a huge issue at the next election here – the same way they were in Australia. Howard’s wholesale attack on Aussie workers was one of the main reasons the electorate rejected him. Bear that in mind when National releases
the Business Roundtable’s their Industrial Relations policy.
My guess is that it’ll be heavy on slogans, light on real substance: John Key and National writ large.
UPDATE: The inflation-adjusted figures paint an equally compelling picture. Check them out at kiwiblogblog.