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Year of the wolf?

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, January 27th, 2010 - 115 comments
Categories: national/act government, workers' rights - Tags:

I really thought the rumour that the minimum wage would only rise by 25c had been put out by the government to make their eventual 50c or 75c decision look generous.

But for a change they’ve surprised me. This is the first time in a decade the minimum wage has been cut in real terms. It means for the first time in ten years minimum wage workers will be worse off than they were the year before.

It’s even better than National’s right-wing business mates had hoped!

But with National’s right-winger core and their proxies like Fran O’Sullivan, Matthew Hooton and Richard Long all talking about Key’s do-nothing government and pushing for him to drop the sheep’s clothing I probably shouldn’t be surprised that the Nats have decided to show a bit of steel by kicking the poor.

Key’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one hand he’ll know the public support he has is very, very soft and on the other he’s got a lot of important backers with a lot riding on a proper right-wing government who are putting the heat on him to show his teeth.

The question is whether this small minimum wage cut is a one-off attempt to pacify these backers or whether it heralds the year of the wolf.

115 comments on “Year of the wolf? ”

  1. Monty 1

    Good effort and congratulations to National. No worker should be paid more than their economic contribution. Keeping the increase to about the rate of inflation should mean it is just as affordable to employ a worker. With the economy coming out of recession that means that employers will be able to afford to bring on additional workers who may have otherwise been priced out of the market because of too much Government intervention.

    • No worker should be paid more than their economic contribution

      If this rule applied to the Cabinet I would not disagree.

      • big bruv 1.1.1

        Not something that seemed to concern you when Labour were in power Micky, I am no fan of this government but even you would have to admit they have far more talent than any of Clark’s cabinets.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          The only talent this lot has shown is the ability to destroy and meddle and change for ideological rather than rational reasons.

          • big bruv 1.1.1.1.1

            Ha ha, that is hilarious, “this lot” are no where near as idealogical as Labour were.

            I wish they would be, then we might see something done about our out of control spending and the crisis that is our welfare system.

            • Sam 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Keep it up, bro, if you say it long enough and loud enough eventually it becomes true. Right?

              [lprent: I haven’t noticed that around here. The more you repeat something the more fun other people have in taking the piss. If it gets too noisy then the moderators start taking notice – usually a bad idea. ]

    • snoozer 1.2

      “No worker should be paid more than their economic contribution.”

      Monty. Pray tell, how is a worker’s economic contribution measured?

      It’s not by their wages, those are set by supply and demand.

      If minimum wage workers were paid the amount of their economic contribution, their wages would go up significantly.

    • A Nonny Moose 1.3

      Alrighty, go scrub a toilet or be a garbage collector, then tell me how much you think you should earn.

      Because I find it pretty shitty (badoom shh) to be telling someone they’re not worth the toilet they scrub.

  2. Year of the wolf?

    Good heading.

    The decision is mean and shows no understanding of economics.

    During the last great depression there was a continuous cycle of cuts to wages and all it did was make things worse as people spent less and less. The lessons obviously have been forgotten.

    A few comments have been on the subject of how we are going to match the wages paid to Australian workers if we continue to allow ours to be eroded?

    Can we hope for an explanation from Mr Key on how he will deliver what he has promised?

  3. big bruv 3

    This is 25c more than the economy can afford and another gutless display by Neville Key.

    It is far better to have more people employed on less than the current minimum wage than it is to pay them to sit at home and do nothing.

    I also find it a bit rich for Labour to be demanding a rise to $15 per hour now they are not in power.

    • snoozer 3.1

      Big bruv. Any numbers to back up the claim that “This is 25c more than the economy can afford”?

      No? Of course not. You’re just talking out your arse.

      In fact, there is no extra cost to the economy from this rise because it is under or barely at inflation. That means the inflation-adjusted cost of minimum wage labour is the same or less than what it was last year.

      Really, Big Bruv, this is kind of basic stuff.

      captcha: amuses – yes, but also sickens.

      • big bruv 3.1.1

        snoozer

        Any business experience to back up your hollow claims that there is no extra cost?

        Thought not, like most from the left you are only any good at spending other peoples money.

        • The Baron 3.1.1.1

          Snoozer, inflation doesn’t work like that. You can’t say “no extra cost” because it levels out in inflation terms. Yes, the buying power of that money remains the same, but the COST has still definitely increased.

          Any business with workers on the minimum wage will need to either:

          1. Reduce profits by the amount of the increase OR
          2. Increase cost of goods sold to fund the increase OR
          3. Cut back on FTE to make the increase neutral.

          Those are the only three REAL options in the real world. Note they all have REAL consequences too. We can argue about our preferences between those three options, but denying that any of those things will actually occur is frankly bizarre.

          As you say – this is kinda basic stuff.

          And no, I’m not gonna provide a study. Christ I am sick of that line.

          • Bright Red 3.1.1.1.1

            “Yes, the buying power of that money remains the same, but the COST has still definitely increased.

            Any business with workers on the minimum wage will need to either:

            1. Reduce profits by the amount of the increase OR
            2. Increase cost of goods sold to fund the increase OR
            3. Cut back on FTE to make the increase neutral.”

            Actually, what happens is throughout the year between minimum wage increases the real cost of minimum wage labour falls for the business due to inflation (yes, putting prices up) and the owner gets to pocket the difference. Then, a below inflation increase slightly resets the balance

            • The Baron 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Assuming the business can put their costs up, yeah you’re right (in a very simplistic sense – you assume that business owners move automatically, rising prices throughout the year. I doubt that is actually the case, and that most businesses will keep the cost of their goods pretty constant too).

              Not all businesses can raise their costs, so they will go with one of the other options.

              Matching inflation doesn’t mean that things are free guys – it just means its going up the same as everything else.

        • snoozer 3.1.1.2

          Mate. This is simple maths. The kind that anyone in business needs to be able to do.

          The rate of inflation is 2.3% that means that a thing that cost $100 last year now costs $102.30 on average this year.

          If the minimum wage goes up 2% (25 cents) the worker gets $102 for the time that they used to earn $100.

          As you can see, the increase in average prices in New Zealand is higher than the increase in the minimum wage. In real terms, that means it has become cheaper to hire minimum wage labour.

          • The Baron 3.1.1.2.1

            Ah, Snoozer I’m not arguing that point. I throughly understand how real wages work thanks.

            The point is that I don’t think you understand how real costs work when you argue that there is no cost to the economy. The cost of this business will go up as a result of this change. Whether that increase is in line with inflation is frankly irrelevant to that point

            Cost increases have consequences – less profits, higher priced goods (though yes, they may rise equivalent to inflation), or less employment.

            You however argue that there is no real cost to the economy in this. There absolutely is, unless you are arguing that there is a 4th option? If so fire away – I’d love to know what I missed.

            • snoozer 3.1.1.2.1.1

              there is no real cost to the economy of an inflation-matching minimum wage increase.

              That’s the definition of inflation-matching – no change in real price.

              Assume total minimum wages cost $2.6 billion in 2009 dollars. Assume inflation-matching minimum wage increase (ie 0% real minimum wage growth). Minimum wage cost remains $2.6 billion in 2009 dollars.

              • The Baron

                Thanks again – you still don’t get it do you?

                Go back to the original argument – Big Bruv said business can’t afford it; you said they can because the cost increase is the same as the increase in inflation.

                So… because the cost of one input increases at the same rate as your other inputs, that makes it free?!

                That only works if you assume that all businesses will be able to pass on the cost of their goods to consumers to fund the extra 25c an hour they have to pay – i.e. match the inflation in the economy. I.E. OPTION 2.

                Not every business will do that, cos not all can – they will absorb that cost increase by doing options 1 or 3.

                Honestly, it is this simple. Matching inflation doesn’t cancel the impact of things out! You’re coming at it all the wrong way around – and also proving Bruv’s point that you’ve evidently never ran a P&L!

              • Sonny Blount

                Where can I go to change my 2008 dollars to 2009 dollars?

          • big bruv 3.1.1.2.2

            Snoozer

            You show an amazing ignorance of how the market works, it is not always possible just to pass increases on to the consumer or other businesses,

            Most of the time the products or services one produces are extremely price sensitive, any increase ordered by government in this current market is more than likely going to be worn by the owner.

            I would also be interested to read what your comments re apprentice rates, at $12.75 an hour it is getting very close to the edge where one just does not bother taking on an apprentice when they cost you money for at least the first year of their employment.

            • Izzy 3.1.1.2.2.1

              Given that the training minimum wage is rising to $10.20, BB, one would be a generous bugger in paying them at that rate. But don’t let me stop you!

              • felix

                Funny, I’d have thought bb would’ve known that, having been self employed for most of his working life and all, and being “the one who has to sweat over the pay role”.

                But then I would’ve thought that someone with payroll experience would know how to spell words like “payroll”, so what do I know about being a middle aged, balding, angry, divorced small businessman eh?

        • Morgan 3.1.1.3

          Oh, no evidence? Just regurgitating some baseless stereotype. Do you not know that spending as a percent of GDP increased under the current National Governments to levels not seen since the previous National Government? Or did you just take the Crosby/Textor line at face value? Oh surely not you are thinking. Oh this must be a left wing conspiracy you are thinking. Oh you must think i am a liar.

          • Morgan 3.1.1.3.1

            That was aimed at snoozer

          • snoozer 3.1.1.3.2

            Mate. what are you talking about?
            What is the reference about Government spending for?
            you don’t think the govt pays the minimum wage to minimum wage workers like the benefit do you?

            • Morgan 3.1.1.3.2.1

              Opps sorry Snoozer. That was aimed at big bruv in relation to

              ” like most from the left you are only any good at spending other peoples money”

              My sincere apologies.

        • lprent 3.1.1.4

          bb: What is that you actually do for a living again?

          I’ve been working in private businesses in pretty senior roles for more than 30 years. I suspect that you’re just making stupid (gazing at your navel fluff level) assumptions about who supports the left.

          • big bruv 3.1.1.4.1

            For most of my working life I have been self employed Iprent, so while you claim that you have worked in private business I would suggest that you are not the one who has to sweat over the pay role when the business is first getting off the ground.

            • lprent 3.1.1.4.1.1

              bb: I’ve been involved in management roles in two startup companies from green fields – you tend to wind up with the role when you’re a senior programmer/designer. I’ve run myself as a business a couple of times doing contracting. I’ve had to try and keep a failing sub-business afloat when I was working for a corporate – probably the hardest job of the lot.

              Also because of the nature of the area I work in (computers) and my expertise in management (MBA), I’ve probably had my nose in more small businesses either working or helping out than you have. Not to mention that running businesses as operations/production managers is pretty much the families default profession (I even did it myself for quite a few years before dropping out into coding), so there is a lot of comparative expertise sloshing around in conversations.

              I’m perfectly aware of the relative costs of labour compared to other costs. It is important – but not particularly crucial. The true costs of training new people at even the most basic level is usually far higher.

            • mickysavage 3.1.1.4.1.2

              Hey BB

              I’m self employed. I have 8 employees and I pay sufficient tax (Income, GST and PAYE) to pay for a Minister’s salary. I do not pay minimum wage as my staff are better than that. We aim to be bright rather than cheap.

              Am I a typical leftie?

              • big bruv

                Yes you are Micky.

                Anybody who thinks they can spend my money better than I can is a true lefty, anybody who believes the state has a large part to play in our lives is a lefty.

  4. Scribe 4

    Well, my company got a 0.0% increase in 2009 and a 2% increase this year — the same as those on the minimum wage. In other words, people on a minimum wage have done better than me and the people I work with over the past two years.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      You should join a union and negotiate a better pay rate. Or leave your job for a better paid one. What you shouldn’t do is come here complaining about how you got played as a sucker and claiming that means everyone else should be a sucker too.

      • Scribe 4.1.1

        IB,

        I live in a world where I don’t expect pay increases if my company isn’t turning a profit. If a company is losing money, how can I expect them to pay me more money from a smaller pool? It just doesn’t make sense.

        Oh, and I’d rather cut off my arm than join a union. I don’t want someone telling me to go and picket rather than work.

        • snoozer 4.1.1.1

          “I live in a world where I don’t expect pay increases if my company isn’t turning a profit”

          But you will take a pay cut for doing the same work.

          Man, talk about a house slave.

          ” I don’t want someone telling me to go and picket rather than work.”

          A union can’t make you strike. Decisions to strike (which are rare) are taken by democratic vote of the workers who would be striking and only them. Even then you don’t have to join if you don’t want. You can scab if you’re a scab.

          Man, bosses muct love workers like you, scribe. You’ve basically got a sign on you’re back saying ‘exploit me’

          • Scribe 4.1.1.1.1

            Man, bosses muct [sic] love workers like you, scribe. You’ve basically got a sign on you’re back saying ‘exploit me’

            Not sure if my boss loves me, snoozer, but I have a sense of loyalty to and gratitude for my employer. Again, I don’t feel entitled to certain things that you and your mates feel you’re entitled to.

            There is a place for unions, but demanding pay increases in lean times and threatening (or carrying out) stop-work action, to my way of thinking, is blackmail.

            Many people on here talk about workers essentially being blackmailed but don’t see the reverse happening when they strike. It’s quite baffling.

        • IrishBill 4.1.1.2

          If you’re not willing to help yourself then you need to take some personal responsibility for your situation instead of crying about it.

          Or should your hair shirt prejudice be forced on everyone else just so you can feel better?

          • Scribe 4.1.1.2.1

            If you’re not willing to help yourself then you need to take some personal responsibility for your situation instead of crying about it.

            Are you even paying attention? I’m not crying about it. I’m just trying to give you ideologues some insight into the mind of someone who doesn’t believe that regardless of my company’s situation, I am ENTITLED to more money.

            • snoozer 4.1.1.2.1.1

              but aren’t you entiteld to the same money in real terms for the same work?

              what about more money for better work?

              you are giving an insight, alright

              • Sonny Blount

                All that anybody can ever be paid is the economic worth of their work, as you cannot be paid money that does not exist.

            • IrishBill 4.1.1.2.1.2

              No. What you are actually saying is that because you don’t believe you are entitled to a pay rise pay rise nobody else should be either.

              • Scribe

                If a company can afford to increase their employees’ wages/salaries, it should. If it can’t, then to increase wages will mean some people have to be laid off.

                Which would you prefer — 100 people getting paid the same wages as last year or 97 people getting paid 3% more and three people on the dole?

                IrishBill: I’d prefer a world in which commenters didn’t waste my time with false dichotomies.

              • snoozer

                your bosses stuffed up so much they couldn’t even afford to meet 2% inflation? They stuffed up so bad they had to cut your pay?

                Maybe they should have spent some of the profits they had taken in the good years on keeping their employees on at least the same real wages in the lean times, and you shouldn’t have laid back and taken a pay cut. You should have stood up for yourself like a man.

              • PT

                oh great now we have stupid snoozer who doesnt understand companies arent always profitable, that bosses just have to open businesses and hire people and magically businesses make money, or businesses can just up prices and magically still sell their widgets. businesses dont automatically make money stupid, they only make money by being mroe efficient than others, by keeping costs competitive. jump labour costs then they arent anymore and suddenly nobody has a job. good idea from stupid snoozer who never worked a business in his life

        • Noko 4.1.1.3

          I don’t think you know how unionism works.

        • Richard 4.1.1.4

          What are you complaining about?

          If your pay is really indexed to the company’s profits, then surely you do exceptionally well in a really profitable year for the company? That’s the contract you decided to negotiate. People working on the minimum wage don’t get extra wages when profit rises.

          Anyway, even if your company isn’t making a profit that’s not really any reason for you to personally take a pay cut. Why should you pay for the bad decisions of your managers?

          A more reasonable approach for a company that is running at a temporary loss is to borrow against their future profitability to ensure that worker’s earnings at least match the rate of inflation. All that your wage “sacrifice” is doing is lining the pockets of your company’s shareholders at your own expense — the shareholders will earn more at your expense when the company returns to profitability.

          If your managers are actually unable to borrow against the future profitability of the enterprise — because the bank doesn’t believe it will be profitable in the future, for example — then (if I was you) I’d start to look for a new job.

          • Scribe 4.1.1.4.1

            Anyway, even if your company isn’t making a profit that’s not really any reason for you to personally take a pay cut. Why should you pay for the bad decisions of your managers?

            Bad decisions of managers? Not sure if you noticed, but there’s been a recession on.

            • Richard 4.1.1.4.1.1

              Sure, your company might be less profitable because of the recession, but that’s no reason to be making a loss.

              And even if your company is that marginal, then your managers should be able to make a case that the company will be profitable in the future.

              If your company won’t be profitable in the future, then now would be a good time to start looking for a new job.

              • Sonny Blount

                So your advice in a recession, is to quit your job unless you get a min pay rise equal to the cpi?

                Are there any other prominent (sane) voices following a similar line?

      • lukas 4.1.2

        “Or leave your job for a better paid one. What you shouldn’t do is come here complaining about how you got played as a sucker and claiming that means everyone else should be a sucker too.”

        Great advice.

        Now, can you tell me why this advice should not apply to someone on minimum wage complaining about the increase?

        • Richard 4.1.2.1

          Because if most people on minimum wage tried to find a new job, they would merely end up with another minimum wage job.

          If they could find a job that wasn’t paying the minimum wage, then I’m sure that they already would have.

          • The Voice of Reason 4.1.2.1.1

            And, thanks to the Maori Party, Act and National, they will start that new poorly paid job under the threat of unchallengable unfair dismissal in the first ninety days. Good option, eh?

    • snoozer 4.2

      you should grow s spine and stand up for fair pay then, Scribe. Join your union. That’s what I did. I’ve never taken a pay cut in real terms like you meekly did. And I never will.

      • fizzleplug 4.2.1

        Not every profession has a union (thank God).

        • Daveo 4.2.1.1

          Why would you not want to have a union in your industry? Are you opposed to higher wages, redundancy protections, decent health and safety and a voice at work? Even if you didn’t join you’d benefit as a free rider, which strikes me as your style anyway.

      • Sonny Blount 4.2.2

        it actually employers that pay wages, not unions.

        unions take a cut out of your pay packet.

        • Roger 4.2.2.1

          Unions also provide a body that helps to even out power relations between employers and employees to help employees leverage fair wage agreements.

    • Richard 4.3

      Sure, if you are earning considerably more than minimum wage (like I suspect you are) then a wage that stagnates for a bit is no big deal.

      If you are, however, actually on the minimum wage (or a poor wage of a similar level) then a stagnating wage is an absolute disaster.

      • big bruv 4.3.1

        Yet you still see no problem taking union dues off these low paid workers.

        • Daveo 4.3.1.1

          /facepalm.

          How do you suppose workers fund their unions if not out of union dues, bruv?

        • Richard 4.3.1.2

          Sure, if minimum wage workers see benefit in joining a union, then I don’t see a problem.

          Of course, it is much trickier decision for minimum wage workers to decide whether or not they join a union — as they have much less money to spare. So, if they decide that they can’t afford to join the union, I don’t see a problem with that either.

          I’d like to see their wages increase to a level, so that joining a union wasn’t a hard decision for them.

          Also, most (all?) unions have progressive fees, so if you are low paid then you pay less than your high paid colleagues. The wealthier members of the union effectively subsidise the lower paid members.

          • jagilby 4.3.1.2.1

            “The wealthier members of the union effectively subsidise the lower paid members.”

            Sounds like socialist utopia… until you run out of “weathier” members.

          • Sonny Blount 4.3.1.2.2

            I would like to see business growth improve to a level where the average wage increases dramatically.

            The money actually exists in this scenario, whereas legislating a pay rate such as the minimum wage doesn’t produce the money with which to pay it.

            • Roger 4.3.1.2.2.1

              Turnover and investment is what produces the money for business growth. Maintaining a fair minimum wage allows for discretionary spending by those on the lowest incomes which generates turnover for businesses. As turnover increases more job openings are required to deal with it. The reduction in unemployment created from this scenario gives workers above the minimum wage more power to negotiate better terms and creates openings for people to rise above minimum wage. This allows these people to look at investing back into the companies creating growth and expansion, creating more job openings, more salaries to be spent creating turnover and investment. While inflation may go up, it wont go up at the same rate as wage increases due to the aggregate growth in jobs and production. The increase in wage costs leads rational businesses to invest in capital to offset wages. Unfortunately most businesses in New Zealand and those owned by foreign entities chose to hold off on this and wait until we had a labour shortage. John Key’s decision will allow businesses to continue being lazy in this area and will not see us catching Australia.

              • Sonny Blount

                So a business should increase its cost of labour and this will lead to an increase of turnover?

                What you are really saying is that an increase in the cost of labour without an associated increase in productivity will lead to inflation.

        • felix 4.3.1.3

          Strange, I’ve never heard union fees referred to as “dues” in this country before.

  5. Joshua 5

    interesting choice of cartoon there, how is the 90-day probation law working? Any examples of large-scale employer abuse towards employees or is it not as bad as you lot feared?

    • Daveo 5.1

      Yes, there are a number of cases that I’m aware of, though the people involved are naturally less than keen to speak out publicly as they fear it may harm their future job prospects.

    • snoozer 5.2

      actually, unions are reporting widespread abuse but there’s almost nothing that can be done about it. The employees have no rights and no money to fight the issue in court.

      The Dept of Labour isn’t even monitoring the effect of the new law.

      So, Joshua, any new jobs created by 90 Days, as promised?

  6. Holy heck, ive been on the standard too long, I 100% agree with your first paragraph and thought the same thing myself, thought it was the old politican trick of promising little and then delivering a little bit more.

    [lprent: Bound to happen eventually. We tend to wear holes in each other here. ]

  7. Mike 7

    The yearly increase in the CPI as of last week was 2%
    A 25 cent increase is 2%, how is this a cut in real wages?

  8. Joshua 8

    that’s interesting snoozer, partly because we were expecting those kind of abuses to be highlighted given the resources the unions have and their constant media profile – you say the unions are reporting? Where can I find this information. We’ll I am on a 90-day probation in my new role after losing my last one in the recession so I reckon that is one.

    Agreed Mike – not a cut, not a rise – unless IB can come up with data to show that inflation is above 2% at the moment

    IrishBill: The Reserve Bank forecast is for inflation to reach 2.6% by the end of this year. The minimum wage increase won’t come until April 1.

  9. IrishBill 9

    90 day probation period? Here’s a story about a girl who was told to buy extremely expensive shoes from the store she was working in (on minimum wage) or fail her probation because she wasn’t committed to the company:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Overland-worker-told-to-buy-shoes-worth-more-than-her-wages/tabid/817/articleID/115610/cat/221/Default.aspx#

    Nice, eh?

    • Sonny Blount 9.1

      Reminds me of a job I had a few years ago. I was required to dress formally. This required a couple of suits (regularly replaced), many shirts, a decent pair of shoes, and a few ties. This was worth at least a couple of grand although luckily I had acquired a few of these items over a few years working labouring jobs (as a suit was required for the job interview).

  10. A highly mean-spirited move. The expectation was a move to $13 per hour at least. Certainly, any move now to put up GST to 15% will increase the hardship of those receiving the basic renumeration.

    National has moved the minimum wage 75c in 2 years, 37.5c per year. Ambitious for NZ? Hardly

  11. “Agreed Mike not a cut, not a rise unless IB can come up with data to show that inflation is above 2% at the moment

    1. This rate of 12.75 will likely apply for an entire year, starting on April 1. Inflation for the Dec 2009 quarter was at 2%, but is increasing as the effects of the international recession gradually abate. It is likely that the March ’10 figures will indicate a higher inflation rate, in line with increasing business optimism.

    2. The CPI basket of goods is not a good measure of basic necessities as it includes a higher percentage of discretionary luxury items not normally purchased by those on a low income. Food prices, for example, although down most recently, have increased far above the price of inflation.

    3. An increase in the ACC earners levy of 0.5 percentage points will far and above eat up any gains from this increase, so real wages in fact, will be lower.

  12. Joshua 12

    fair call IB, I know it is common practice for clothing stores to require employees wear their clothing but it should at least be in their contract – that is unless the contract provides that employees must adhere to policy manuals as part of their contracts – then not wearing the clothes is a breach and liable to termination. It is not clear from the article whether that is the case or not.

    PP – you say 75c in two years, check out DPF’s post where he shows that labour increased the wage by 55c, 15c and 30c in their first term – a total of $1 – something National is well on track to achieve as well, and in much tougher economic conditions

    • Daveo 12.1

      You should know better than to regurgitate Farrar’s lines. For a start he’s using nominal figures rather than real figures. As a statistician he knows what he’s doing.

      A 50c or 25c or whatever increase in 2000 is worth more than the same increase in 2010. It’s also a much higher percentage increase on $8 than it is on $12.50.

      Additionally, why just focus on the first three years of the term? Why not the last three, or the middle three, or average of the whole term? Oh, that’s right, because he’s spinning you a line.

      I really wish that Farrar respected his readers enough not to lie to them, and that their readers respected themselves enough not to fall for it.

      • BLiP 12.1.1

        The purpose of the sewer is feed out National Ltd® spin to its cheerleaders and set them loose to repeat on other blogs and the brothels they fequent. Rational discussion there is a worse crime than flat out abuse; questioning the “font of all wisdom” is a bannable offence.

    • snoozer 12.2

      “you say 75c in two years, check out DPF’s post where he shows that labour increased the wage by 55c, 15c and 30c in their first term”

      Joshua. Can’t you understand that percentage changes are relative?

      Labour was increasing off a $7 minimum wage. National is increasing off $12.

      The 70 cents Labour delivered in its first two years was a 10% increase. National’s 75 cents in its first two years is just 6%.

      The after-inflation increase over thsoe two years for Labur was 4.3%. For National it will be 1.8%

  13. The comments by all of the wingnuts in this and related posts all presume that the respective shares of the rich and poor should not change and the current share is appropriate.

    I would be interested in one of them stating why poor people should not have more than what they have more.

    I would also be interested in them addressing the problem that our world has and that is that consumption is excessive and we need to live more simply. If this happens who should consume less? Rich or poor?

  14. Joshua 14

    I am well aware of that snoozer, and DPF did highlight all 9 years under labour and the %-wise increase, the point I was making is that even in the course of one of the worst recessions ever to hit this country the minimum wage has still gone up by 6% and, by your own figures, faster than the rate of inflation.

    All beside the point really, if your beloved unions are so great then lets get rid of the minimum wage altogether and see you put your money where you mouth is.

    Like your point about consumption Mickeysavage – although is that not what increasing GST is designed to do? Reduce consumption and people living beyond their means?

    • IrishBill 14.1

      All beside the point really, if your beloved unions are so great then lets get rid of the minimum wage altogether and see you put your money where you mouth is.

      You were doing better when you were arguing rationally.

      • DavidW 14.1.1

        IB, you seem to be well connected. Do you think Union Officials (at least those not on the minimum wage) will receive 2% increase or greater in their 2010 pay reviews?

        • DavidW 14.1.1.1

          Hello Bill …. Are you there?

          • DavidW 14.1.1.1.1

            Yeah its a tough one Bill and you know exactly where I was going – a place where there is no answer but to demonstrate that your posturing on minimum wages being non-inflationary (amongst other things) is totally hot air and overridden by self-interest at all levels. It would equally have shown that the union movement is willing to put aside thoughts of assisting the downtrodden, poor huddled masses on the minimum wage when it comes to funding the wages/salaries of employees of the Union. Where has the income of Andrew Little ever been made public? Is the scale of Organiser rates of pay (and perks like cars) made available to members?

            The hypocrisy is overwhelming and the stench of it makes me sick. I’m out of here.

  15. Joshua 15

    Sorry IB, it is hard to stay above the fray here! I’ll try harder next time.

    The whole concept of a floor (or ceiling for that matter) is foreign to me, why place artifical limits on our behaviour? – I guess that comes from competitive sport.

  16. tc 16

    Hey joshua,

    I along with many other colleagues were shown the respective doors under the NACT’s recently introduced 90day bill late 2008.

    No names but these were large professional services org’s that went out hiring enmasse after election 08…….reviewed it late 08 and then wielded the axe in the comfort the 90 day rule covered them as the work hadn’t magically arrived.

    Behaviour that wasn’t possible before that law.

    Anyway the main point is this is another kick in the teeth of those on minimum wages which is NACT’s stock n trade as it’s all their fault anyway, time to climb up the ladder with help from the state…er no Basher Bennet’s fixing that, well anyway get some decent education…no wait Tolley removed night school……look just go away and become rich all you lowly paid folk or we’ll bring back slavery.

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      The 90 day fire-at-will law is only supposed to apply with companies that have less than 20 employees. So these can’t have been very “large” companies.

      • The Voice of Reason 16.1.1

        That only works if you know the rules, Lanthanide. I have talked to employers and employees who not only didn’t know that it was only supposed to apply on a limited basis, but that it had to be negotiated in at the time of hiring. There are many, many people think its ‘the law’ and thats the end to it.

      • The Baron 16.1.2

        Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough work to justify keeping you and you didn’t make the cut of those that were to be kept. Sounds like it wasn’t the law’s fault then, unless you want the law to guarantee you a job?

        Chin up, plenty of professional jobs in the herald at the moment. Put on your suit and start applying.

        oh, and a reminder that despite your little labour fanboy tanty at the end there, there are still billions of dollars in benefits each year, and plenty of student loans and allowances for those who wanna get ahead. I’m sure our society will survive the lack of crochet classes.

    • PT 16.2

      only happens in under 20 employee companies so i think you made that story up tc

  17. 3. An increase in the ACC earners levy of 0.5 percentage points will far and above eat up any gains from this increase, so real wages in fact, will be lower.

    e.g. On the minimum wage, someone who works a 40 hour a week job, receives the IETC as part of their wages receives $409.38 net per week (2% Kiwisaver), and their pay will increase to $416.43 after April 1.

    This is a raise of 1.72%, and less than the December CPI.

  18. Joshua 18

    Hey there TC

    I feel for you in your situation, I know what it is like to lose a job or two and regardless of circumstances it is never easy. I know it is probably little consolation but the law did provide you with the opportunity to work for three months and gain some experience well doing so – ideally yes you would have had a full time offer after that.

    Sadly you then descend into some leftish incoherent rant about NACT who, lets be honest here, if they really wanted to ‘kick the poor in the teeth’ then we would have no minimum wage, a return of the ECA, no more WFF etc etc. The truth is we are not seeing those measures. I cannot comment on the benefit regime because I do not know much about that but with regards to education – there comes a point when you need to stop relying on the state to do everything for you and get out there and do it for yourself. I.e., why pay for more education when you can learn stuff for free over the internet? Head over to the Harvard website and you can take whole courses online for nothing. Go to TED.com and prepare for the best education you could possibly imagine. If it is a degree you are talking about then get a student loan and study part time – I know a lot of friends and family members who have done it that well.

  19. TightyRighty 19

    the shills screaming for a $15 p/hr minimum wage deserve derision. however, i think that 25c is too low. 50c could have been afforded, and 75c would also have been on the borders of acceptable. any more was dreaming. i have to concur that 25c is just a little on the tighty side, even for me. though i have a funny suspicion that a another rise may be in the budget to offset the impact of a gst rise. there is still time to raise the minimum wage. but $15 per hour? bloody nonsense from labour, especially as they had no plans to implement until now when they feel they can score some politcal points

  20. mike 20

    Quit your bitching – its 25c more than I got last year. Obviuosly the concept of everyone sharing the burden is lost you pinko’s..

    • TightyRighty 20.1

      but thats all they do, share out other peoples money

    • The Voice of Reason 20.2

      Um, I think sharing the burden is pretty much at the heart of the socialist ethos, Mike. Along with sharing the spoils.

      “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

      Karl Marx.

      As for your failure to get even a 25c pay rise last year? I doubt that had anything to do with economy. Far more likely to be a merit based decision, comrade.

  21. RdedLogix 21

    In the meantime the 4m odd people in the Port au Prince area are making do with a water supply of about 0.5m litres per day. (That’s about a cupful.)

    Oh well.

  22. wolfman 22

    What only 25 cents pay increase!
    Must start killing more sheep.Stupid kiwi real dumb arse.
    Lamb to the slaughter,pathetic voter.

  23. Now is the time to take the anger people feel at this insult and push for real change from below. The Campaign for a Living Wage has gathered tens of thousands of signatures for a referendum to raise the min wage to $15 now, and two thirds of the average wage later, a demand that at least 61% of Kiwis support.

    Help us …gather more signatures- join the Facebook group and recruit your friends

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=114601883528&ref=tsC

  24. Sonny Blount 24

    Extreme damage caused by minimum wage laws:

  25. Bruce 25

    Ok, so scenario: The CPI goes up to 5%. Will this government increase the minimum wage by 5%?

  26. I don’t know why anybody is surprised and why anybody would think that John Key is between a rock and a hard place.

    If you need someone who can implement unpopular or even down right callous politics you hire a man who has no conscience to speak of and someone with sociopathic chameleon like tendencies.
    Someone who has earned his stripes in a world where sociopathy and greed were compulsory survival skills so to speak.

    Wall street anyone?

    If your colleagues call you the “Smiling Assassin” and that is their term of endearment for you I can assure you you have those survival skills in ample supplies.

  27. Matt Andrews 27

    What I’m really surprised about is why Trevor Mallard is on Red Alert calling for massive cuts to the top personal tax rate. Shouldn’t Labour be focussed on those who need it, not John Key’s mates? They’ve got the National Party to look afteter them.

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