I see the wage-gap is getting another airing on Stuff today, here’s the first few pars:
While the gulf between New Zealand and Australian pay packets is narrowing slightly, it’s still a no-contest.
Australian full-time workers earned an average of $A1162 ($NZ1350) per week in the year to November, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released today.
That compares with the New Zealand average weekly income of $667 from the last Statistics New Zealand survey, released in October.
Comparatively, New Zealand’s earnings increased by 9.4 per cent while Australians enjoyed a five per cent increase.
Now this shows two things:
Firstly, the only way we can catch up is through higher wages. Remember the total tax take on an average wage is around 26% so even an absurdly destructive 0% tax rate would leave us well behind the Aussie average.
And secondly, the wage gap is closing, but slowly. In fact the wage gap began in the dying days of the fourth Labour government (pretty much ACT) and then accelerated under National with the outrageous attack on working New Zealanders that was the Employment Contracts Act.
And thirdly (before I forget), No John, the answer is not to have our wages “drop“.
Update: the original story has been corrected to a more methodologically comparable survey that puts NZ average weekly income at $957. This is still places NZ income approximately 30% behind Australian incomes and that is still a higher figure than the total tax-take on an average NZ income.