Poor Melissa, well, not so poor

Written By: - Date published: 5:38 am, June 12th, 2009 - 12 comments
Categories: mt albert, wages, workers' rights - Tags:

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]

12 comments on “Poor Melissa, well, not so poor”

  1. rocky 1

    What a pathetic joke. Even if Melissa Lee were working 24 hours per day, she would still be earning above the minimum wage.

    $131,000 divided by 8736 (the number of hours in a year), means if working every hour of the day, Melissa Lee would be still be earning $15 per hour, which coincidentally, is exactly what Unite are advocating as the minimum wage!

  2. ropata 2

    Ms. Lee still thinks the byelection is all about herself. She hasn’t treated ANY questions very seriously, responding with either personal reflections (“oh my hands are sore from campaigning so much”) or baseless speculation (showing poor preparation or unbecoming memory lapses). I hope other National MPs show better perception and respect for the public.

  3. StephenR 3

    MAN she’s bad at being funny.

    “working hard to get herself into third place.” – HA! That she is.

  4. Perhaps she is working SO much harder than she’s ever had to before.

    All I seem to hear from Melissa Lee in this byelection is how hard she says she’s working, how long the hours are that she’s working, how she has sore hands from working… blah blah blah.

    I just have one word for her really:

    “Diddums!”

  5. gobsmacked 5

    On the Herald website, the most popular stories currently:

    First, and second: Melissa Lee. She even comes in ahead of David Bain.

    Thanks, National – and thanks, John Key!

  6. Meanwhile, the WHO declares a flu pandemic. But who really cares about that when we have Melissa Lee to laugh at?

  7. Maynard J 7

    I can not wait to see a few more of National’s rising stars in action, especially the ‘JK hand-picked’ variety. Will be interesting to see if he has a genuine affinity for crass idiots or if this was a one-off.

  8. Craig Glen Eden 8

    If Key is smart politically he will distance him self from her after the election.I think she will probably be told to be very quite and she will get a great job offer before the next election. Lee will then state I am leaving for personal reasons I have decided to look after my son.

    She will continue to be a biased Journalist about as credible as Paul Henry.

    Amazingly similar those two, both think they are funny when they are not, both arrogant and full of their own self importance and after Saturday, both will have had their arse’s kicked by a strong Labour Candidate

  9. Ianmac 9

    What really impresses me about Melissa is her total positiveness about herself. I have met those who have had assertive/positive training and they give me the willies. (Like bullet-proof teens?) Isn’t it the same as those who have belief in Scientology? Is Melissa a Scientologist?

  10. Tom Semmens 10

    Now, John Key likes to surround himself with people whose values and class are similar to himself. Melissa Lee, Steven Joyce, etc etc. These comments from Lee show the utter disconnect and the inflated sense of self importance that now exists in our society between the self-styled ruling elite like Key and Joyce and Lee safely tucked away in their fortified mansions and the reality of the lives of most hard-working New Zealanders.

  11. Ag 11

    Jeez. It was a joke. An old joke and not a good one, but a joke I’ve heard before and which people from all walks of life make.

  12. felix 12

    The overwhelming impression Melissa Lee gives is that her parliamentary career is simply an extension of her broadcasting career.

    That’s why, as others have noted, she doesn’t appear to take ANY issues seriously – because the only issue for her is raising her own profile as a “celebrity”.

    The most serious consideration I’ve seen her give to a question in this whole campaign is “what’s your favourite Mt Albert cafe”. I think she actually thought she’d piss it in by being well known at her local.

    The troublesome business of, you know, representing people, making decisions on their behalf – working, to put it bluntly – is an afterthought, if it’s a thought at all.

    Make no mistake, she’d be just as pleased with a lead role on Shorties or a primetime newsreading gig on tv3.

    And after 2011 those will probably be her best options.

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