On the last day of Parliament, I asked the Minister of Labour a couple of questions about wages. Minister Tony Ryall answered on her behalf and as a True Believer in the one market way he spouted the old trickle down theory.
“This is one of the reasons why the Government is focusing on growing and building a strong, growing economy, because a strong, growing economy will give all New Zealanders the opportunity to benefit in higher wages. “
The truth is that working families and other middle income kiwis are finding it harder by the week to get by because the cost of living is rising and incomes aren’t keeping pace.
Over the last 3 years, median household income rose 1.4% while consumer prices rose 9%. The gap between high income earners and low income earners is growing, and the gap between New Zealand incomes and Australian incomes continues to get wider
Isn’t this the government that promised that it would stop our workers leaving for Australia by closing the wage gap? And hasn’t it blown out to 38% in the last three years?
New Zealand workers aren’t paid enough. We still believe in the old maxim “a fair days pay for a fair days work” but our rules don’t deliver that.
Labour will be changing the rules. We need some new ideas. Watch our for our policy announcement this coming Tuesday.