Raising minimum wage won't cost jobs - Treasury
Thu, 10 Nov 2011 6:11p.m.
By Patrick Gower
Currently minimum wage is $13 an hour.
National would like to lower it – for some workers to as little as $10.90.
It says putting the minimum wage up, as other parties would, would mean employers would simply shed jobs.
But 3 News has obtained Treasury documents that dispute that.
Workers at McDonald’s wanted to place a simple order this election; ‘Do something about our McWages’. If they could have anything, staff say it would be for minimum wage to go up to $15.
Given the chance, McDonald’s employee Mary Liddicoat took her order right to the top.
She asked Prime Minister John Key, “Will the minimum wage go up to $15 an hour soon?”.
“It will go up, but it won’t go up straight away,” he responded.
That’s a polite ‘no’. Key has no intention of super-sizing their pay anytime soon. He says it will cost 6000 jobs.
Mary wasn’t buying that.
“I can’t see how you would lose that many jobs by taking it up that much,” she said.
The Government’s own officials agree with her.
The Department of Labour says the rise will cost 6000 jobs. But Treasury has a counter view; “This has not been true in the past. The balance of probabilities is that a higher minimum wage does not cost jobs.”
Not all employers are worried about a hike either. Andy Martin runs a pub, employing 26 people in Oamaru.
He says put the wage up and people just spend more money – everyone wins.
“$15 is fair,” he says.
So Mary had another request for Key:
“Try and live on $450 a week.”
“Look, I think it would be very difficult for anyone to do that,” he said.
“I sure as hell couldn’t’ live on $13 an hour and I wouldn’t expect other people to have to live on that much,” Labour leader Phil Goff said.
“It is a miserable wage,” says Green party co-leader Metiria Turei. “Families can’t live on it and that’s the problem.”
“Honestly, I struggle to understand how some families can feed their children,” Mana Party leader Hone Harawira said.
There is an estimated 100,000 people on minimum wage and 300,000 close to it – so there are a lot of votes to takeaway.
But only a Labour government would push it to $15 an hour next year – National would take years to get it there.
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23/11/2011 3:04:05 p.m.
Barry Johnstone wrote:
Whilst on one hand, I do enjoy ninetynines postings, getting back to the basic thing of completely inadequate remuneration is that $13 per hour is NOT ENOUGH. We work to live - we do NOT live to work! Get that one right, and THEN we can wax eloquent.
22/11/2011 4:20:41 p.m.
If raising the wage of your workers to $15/hr will destroy your business - face the fact - they way you are running your business is not sustainable. A solvent business that only exists because it can employ people at less than a living wage is one that needs to be reconfigured or folded. Employees working more than 40 hours in order to stay afloat, or to slow down the move backwards, have no opportunity to upskill or train for better wages or work experience. The level playing field of the rational economists does not exist. $15 is the least we should be paying in NZ for workers.
15/11/2011 6:22:38 a.m.
john just a smile even his posters are pissing me off
14/11/2011 10:19:43 p.m.
It wasn't that long ago when Bill English was taking the NZ tax payers for a ride by claiming up to $1000.00 a week in living allowances while earning more than $270,00.00 per annum. Even someone on the average wage doesn't even get the $1000.00 a week. So how does his government expect someone to live on $13.00 an hour?
14/11/2011 10:18:51 p.m.
13/11/2011 5:23:15 p.m.
Maybe if you had read my entire post your point of view would be slightly different unless you read the full story how could you possibly expect to get a complete understanding.
Part of the world is to understand others views not just your own so I will acknowledge your arguments regardless.
Tim as far as cures go one thing time has proven is that things which seemed impossible are common place now. The point is there is little intrinic motivation to cure problems.
I'm not saying there isn't people trying to cure it good for them but don't you think a scientist trying to find a cure would get a 200billion budget after all lung cancer kills 1.4m a year. There is no real motivation to cure currently profitable problems.
The invention of technology will progress regardless of a market system there instead of being motivated by incentive for money so you would bring out a product not designed to last "planned obsolescence" basic business Nothing can last longer than it would take for consumption to continue" In other words if i make something that will last a hundred years there would be no need to buy another for a hundred years and that business will quickly run out of money.
Efficiency is the enemy of profit if everyone had all they needed they would not need to buy every day and then the cyclical consumption of the market will stall and businesses will go bankrupt and the monetary system will crash.
Scientific progress is driven by a motivation to better your life. its a tool the same as a spade is a tool. science will continue long after the market system is forgotten.
Theres a reason production and employment have inverse effects its because its more productive to hire a machine than a man. So there is a battle for labor between automation and humans. why not embrace automation let our technology provide all human needs we have the resources to feed and cloth the planet but the government and the banks who benefit from now will stop that.
13/11/2011 3:36:16 p.m.
john key wrote:
spent less money on cigarette and alcohol...
13/11/2011 3:14:05 p.m.
Hi ninetynine. I'm not going to go through your entire paragraphs, but I will point out the obvious flaw with your point on the free market 'failing' cancer research. First, there will never be a panacea for cancer as you describe. Cancer research has not 'cured' cancer yet because it is very complicated, with literally millions of variations which are given the title 'cancer'. Second, if curing cancer would result in no money being made, why on earth would any agency currently be researching it? In fact, why do people create any drug? Why do people make video games? It's simple - intellectual property laws (copyright/trademark etc). The inventors of fantastic drugs make considerable money off their product. You might argue that this is unfair, and there are arguments for extending and reducing intellectual property laws, however it is this which drives scientific research and discovery. Capitalism is certainly not failing scientific progress - in fact the countries with the highest scientific progress over the last 2000 years have almost all had free markets and strong trade.
12/11/2011 4:17:10 p.m.
This morning, I was at the OZ JOB EXPO in Greenlane and most of the jobs available were mining and mining related, and the attendence were pretty good, even though it cost $15 per person, and parking $6. This partly explains for the number of kiwi going to OZ, as there are few mining and support industry jobs in NZ. I don't think any govt can reverse the trend if we continue to put the lid on mining, and pretend we can still catch up just by being green.
12/11/2011 3:59:08 p.m.
Sir i do not doubt you're a very well socially adjusted in your environment. What you do not understand is the system you seek to protect and perpetuate is flawed in the stupidest way.
Think about this the cancer research industry it employs thousands of people corporations own hospitals making billions a year. Some have GDP's higher than nations in America.
What a simple cure for cancer was found and all those people were no longer employed their so called "specialization into cancer" is now useless the cure has been found its a miracle.
Markets will crash with that money no longer circulating around. So do you think the Market system really wants to see a cure of cancer?
The market system profits of scarcity and pollution. medical industry profits of the sick if the medical industry worked we would be trying a lot harder to minimize people who need to go to hospital rather than let the system keep increasing that number so it makes more profit!
Polution the worse our own water supplies get our industry can compensate with a profitable solution "marketed mineral water" why on earth should anyone need to think that water is better than what comes out there tap.
then maybe the problem they need to fix is peoples tap water and not sell them water.
problems and scarcity is profit i hope you understand. economics 101 A product is given value based on two criteria Its quantity to demand less would put the value up more would put value down. And if the product had a particular skill that was rare in society to create, this would also put the value up.
So now this monetary system has a inherint incline to corruption to seek money over human needs. Energy is a good example.
did you know that if we harvested 20% of the worlds wind energy capability we could power the entire world.
if we used solar we absorb in 1 year of infra red light energy 10,000 times more energy that we used. energy is nothing but abundant free electricity electric cars say no to hydrocarbon energy.
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