Trans-Tasman wage gap widens, as NZ becomes more unequal

Published: Fri 18 Nov 2011 01:51 PM
Labour Leader
18 November 2011 MEDIA STATEMENT
Trans-Tasman wage gap widens, as New Zealand becomes more unequal society
New data released in Australia yesterday shows the wage gap with New Zealand has widened to over $34 since National took office, Labour leader Phil Goff says.
“Australian Bureau of Statistics, Average Weekly Earnings data confirms another of John Key’s broken promises made before the last election,” Phil Goff said.
“The wage gap is calculated using the same methodology as used by John Key in a document he tabled in Parliament last July. By his own measure, he has failed.
“While the gap with Australia grows, so too does the wealth gap in New Zealand after three years of a National government.
• This week it was reported that Westpac NZ CEO’s remuneration package was valued at $5.4 million. This is the second year in a row his remuneration has topped $5 million, and is more than 100 times the average wage, and almost 200 times the minimum wage;
• CEO pay rises averaged 14 per cent in 2010;
• For everyone else, wages increased by 2% last year;
• The country’s 151 richest increased their collective wealth by $7 billion in the past year (up from $38.2b to $45.2b);
• Cost have risen four times fast than wages over the past three years;
• GST was increased to 15%, while the top 10% of income earners received $6 billion in tax cuts (40% of the tax cuts total).
“Under National, all but the already well-off have gone backwards, and National’s plan to sell our assets will make the problem worse.
“National’s asset sales programme will shift wealth away from middle and low income Kiwis.
“Even among the Kiwis who are lucky enough to get a sniff of shares under the Australian bank-run sales process, only a small percentage will be able to afford them.
“Meanwhile, profit-hungry overseas corporates will ramp up power prices if they are allowed to get their hands on our power companies.
“Labour wants New Zealanders to get ahead. That’s why we have bold and strong policies for growth and jobs.
“But unlike National, we will not stand back while middle and low income Kiwis fall further behind.
“We will make the first $5000 a year each person earns tax free, remove GST from fresh fruit and veges, lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour and have committed to lifting 100,000 children out of poverty,” Phil Goff said.

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