Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, March 1st, 2016 - 109 comments
Categories: economy, employment, human rights, uncategorized, wages - Tags: credit where it's due, forecast, jobs, living wage, minimum wage
Credit where it’s due, this year’s 50 cent increase to the minimum wage (to $15.25) is better than the 25 cent increases the Nats have frequently applied, and better than nothing. But it’s not going to change anyone’s lives either.
Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand also yesterday announced its annual assessment of a living wage, up 55 cents to $19.80. As The Greens put it:
Gap between minimum wage and Living Wage keeps growing
The growing gap between what families need to earn to live and what the Government sets as the minimum wage, shows the National Government isn’t doing enough to ensure all New Zealanders can get ahead, the Green Party said.
“While the National Government boasts that New Zealand’s economy is growing, it’s made sure that lower income Kiwis get less of the benefit of that than others,” Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche said.
“New Zealand’s lowest paid third of workers have only received a one percent increase in their incomes since 2009, but the highest paid third of New Zealanders are now earning eight percent more.*
“Our economy is out of balance when incomes at the top rise so much faster than incomes at the bottom. …
One interesting footnote to this year’s process is the Nats abandoning their usual pretense that any increases to the minimum wage cost jobs:
Minimum wage rise of 50c to $15.25 will cause zero job losses, says Govt
The minimum wage is to rise by 50 cents to $15.25 an hour from 1 April 2016, affecting more than 150,000 workers. But the Government says the rise will not lead to the loss of any jobs …
Good to have that on record.
… though an increase of a further 25c to $15.50 would have cost 2000 jobs.
That’s some micro fine “forecasting” from a government that can’t usually predict anything accurate to the nearest $100 million or so.