Parliament to vote on minimum wage bill
Wed, 19 Sep 2012 5:24a.m.
Parliament will vote today on a bill that raises the minimum wage to $15 an hour.
The member's bill was drafted by Labour's David Clark and isn't expected to get through its first reading.
All the opposition parties support it but the Government doesn't and has the support of ACT and United Future.
Labour says the "working poor" can't afford to live on the current minimum wage of $13.50 an hour.
The Government's position is that it has raised the minimum wage as far as it is prepared to go, and lifting it further would put thousands of jobs in danger because many small businesses can't afford to pay higher wages.
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21/09/2012 11:03:42 a.m.
The government would be better to follow Australia lead and make $15000 of income tax free. NZ already has the closet gap in the OECD between educated and the non educated sheep. Its a statistical lie that the average wage is $24.96, it would take me 17 years and continued salary band promotions to reach the level that this hourly rate sits on. Id sooner just move to Australia if I could. Stay in NZ and you will be poor.
19/09/2012 3:54:19 p.m.
Third World Ages,increasing poverty,15% GST,A 7.7% increase in the cost of living, a less than 1% increase in wages, increasing unemployment, tax cuts for the rich, increased power prices from asset sales, increased educational and health costs and failing businesses , what more can we expect from this National Government? National bankruptcy?
19/09/2012 2:38:56 p.m.
To WISEACRE - my appologies now that I had time to read and absorb your submission. I just get annoyed at people who think they should have a slice of the pie because I am successful. I still to this day have everything on the line as we expand and employ more people, but not to the same extreme - I still have some sleepless nights though.
19/09/2012 11:52:15 a.m.
@GRANT - Did you even read my post? In the very first sentence I acknowledge that many small businesses pay their staff reasonably well. I then go on to claim that it is typically the large multi-nationals that are squeezing their staff, treating them as a cost to be driven down rather than a resource to be valued. At no point do I claim that business owners are "making heaps", nor do I moan about "poor me". What I want is a fairer society, so I make some suggestions that I feel would help tackle inequality.
If you have an issue with some of my suggestions then by all means tackle the suggestions. Do not go making assumptions about people when you have no basis upon which to do so.
19/09/2012 11:30:37 a.m.
Yeah try to live on minimum wage and support your children. What a joke. What erks me is that million dollar companies can get away with this. I'm sure that could push some policy through to help small businesses - in regards to employee pay. I't the big businesses that get away with paying staff peanuts that's the real problem.
19/09/2012 10:01:00 a.m.
To WISEACRE I am an employer who pays my valuable staff a good wage way way above the minimum and have retained the same staff for the past 7 years as I believe we are a partnership even though I own it.
I put my house on the line (my home) and very nearly lost it - but I got a lucky break and havent looked back. Now I bet you are one of these people who think business owners are making heaps of money and havent the guts to put everything on the line like most business owners. Instead you would rather moan about poor me and how bad my life is GOD help us if Labour and Greens get in next time as this is obviously what you want.
19/09/2012 8:06:42 a.m.
I agree with the minimum wage increase. Over the past few years, the cost of living has accelerated and the minimum wage has not been adjusted relative to the changes as effectively. In this economic climate it has forced skilled workers, whom were made redundant, into low paying jobs simply as a means to support themselves without benefits. The question of whether the country can afford it is debatable considering that the top tax bracket was lowered by National at a time when it was not necessary. The government claims it was strengthening the economy into a surplus but what that has also done it diminished not created jobs and also diminished New Zealanders desire to continue living in this country.
19/09/2012 7:28:06 a.m.
Many small businesses already pay their staff reasonably well. It is usually the large multi-nationals that squeeze their staff dry.
Consumers with money create jobs. The best way to create jobs is to give consumers more money so they can purchase more goods which will create more jobs.
A strong economy needs workers to prosper. The wage squeezes of the last 20+ years have sucked demand out of the economy.
The minimum wage should be increased to $16/hour, then over the next three years brought up to & locked in at 2/3's of the average wage.
Minimum wage is currently $13.50; average wage is $27. Over time my proposal would bring the minimum wage up to $18.00 - an increase of $4.50, or 33%. The important thing is to tie it to the average wage. If the average wage goes up, everyone goes up.
If CEO's want enormous pay rises, they should bring their workers up with them. It's about tackling & reducing inequality.
A new report by the Congressional Research Service shows that tax cuts for the wealthy do not cause economic growth, despite constant claims by conservatives that it will. The only thing tax cuts for the rich do is exacerbate income inequality by concentrating wealth at the top,
Over the past 25 years, New Zealand has increased taxes on the poor while lowering taxes on the wealthy - to no perceivable social or economic benefit.
At low income levels NZ charges more tax overall than each of the three most comparable countries - Australia, Canada & the UK - while at very high levels of income, none of the comparison countries levy lower taxes than NZ. New Zealand overtaxes the poor & undertaxes the rich.
Instead of raising the current top tax rate (33% at $70,001+) we should introduce more tax brackets, tied to the median income. 39% income tax which kicks in at 5x the median income, 49% kicking in at 10x the median, 59% at 20x the median.
And the first $15,000 income should be tax free, putting more money in the hands of those who need it the most.
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