She’s really trying her best. Even with only one news cycle to go, Melissa Lee is still out there, working hard to get herself into third place. From NZPA:
Appearing in a candidate’s debate in front of members of the Unite union, Ms Lee was asked how she would survive on the minimum wage of $12.50 an hour.
“I think I am currently on $2 an hour,” Ms Lee replied.
Ms Lee appeared to be joking about MPs’ long hours, but it did not amuse the audience of low wage earners.
Ms Lee is paid $131,000 a year and is entitled to $14,860 in expense allowances, as well as $24,000 in accommodation benefits and free travel. [$15 an hour if she worked 24/7 every week of the year]
A worker on the minimum wage working 40 hours a week earns $26,000 a year and, if they have children, are entitled to Working for Families assistance
Honestly. Who out there would still vote for this woman? Even if you’re Tory to the bone, would you not feel like a complete idiot voting for Lee? If I couldn’t bring myself to vote for anyone else, I would just stay at home.
The next line in the report caught my eye too:
Ms Lee did recover with an explanation of National’s policy on trying to raise all wage levels.
I would be absolutely fascinated to hear what that policy is. Because John Key said he “would love to see wages drop“. The Nats gave a minimum wage increase that barely matched inflation. They’ve refused to support high wage jobs in R&D. They’re standing by while thousands of jobs disappear which drags down wages.
In fact, Treasury predicts that wages will fall after inflation for all of the term of this increasingly disasterous Key government.
[Update: download Unite’s petition for a $15 an hour minimum wage here]