Council of Trade Unions Secretary Sam Huggard today welcomed the news that wages are finally being actively lifted out of long-term stagnation with the release of new data by Statistics New Zealand.
“It’s by design,” he said. “Just like our economic settings were deliberately designed by the last Government to benefit international investors and shareholders through low wages for Kiwis, this Government is actively delivering a fairer deal to working New Zealanders. The minimum wage lift and care and support pay equity settlement alone lifted wages half a percent more over the past year in the private sector. This represents Kiwis who have been the most undervalued receiving real financial relief to support them and their families.”
“For far too many years we have seen profits siphoned off to shareholders while the people who actually produce the wealth have been out of pocket over $11,000 a year since the 1980s. Year on year, low wages for Kiwis have added up to the situation we see now with working families living in cars, and it’s time we draw a line in the sand. It’s time for wages to catch up.”
“So called ‘wage inflation’ represents the deliberate choice of ordinary Kiwis to finally prioritise decent living standards for working people over corporate profit. Minimum wage rises, equal pay, better collective bargaining laws and Fair Pay Agreements are all tools to make our economy deliver what it’s supposed to- fair outcomes, and spending power to revitalise our regions. This is just the start of the rebalancing working Kiwis can expect under a Government that cares about fairness, and their wellbeing.”