David Shearer’s delivered his second “Vision” speech.
As a vision speech it is of course light on concrete ideas, but it certainly paints a different picture to a National New Zealand.
It’s largely “Mom and Apple Pie” to us here on The Standard – but it’s the contrast between believing that all New Zealanders should be able to earn a Living Wage; rather than extra wealth at all costs, even if it only goes to a very few people, leaving the rest in poverty.
The call for a Living Wage movement is welcome – we should have companies signing up to say that they care about their staff enough to pay them a wage that they can live on. It’s not that much to ask for from responsible employers.
National seem happy to have New Zealanders working longer than almost anyone in the OECD, for lower wages. As Shearer points out:
If wages had grown as much as productivity in the last two decades, the average wage would be $31.85, not $24.43.
“That’s an extra seven dollars an hour, or $297 a week that the average worker earned but didn’t get paid.” …
“It’s now making a virtue of our low wage rates, calling it ‘New Zealand envy’.”
As James points out – we don’t get fat off the crumbs of other people’s tables.
So we do need a government that wants to tackle inequality, wants proper jobs rather than casualised ones and our kids earning or learning.
And it’s great to hear that Shearer wants to deliver that government.