I want New Zealand to be the fairest, most decent, society in the world. To get there we need to grow the economy. But we also need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to get ahead. That’s because people matter most.
It’s no secret that wages in New Zealand are too low – over the last few decades we’ve seen the share of the economy that Kiwis get through their wages fall from 55% of GDP to 45%. The last Labour Government brought it back from a low of 40%, but it’s still too low.
Labour will change this. We will grow the economy with our economic upgrades and by backing New Zealand business but that comes with a quid pro quo – that everyone gets a fair share of that wealth.
We’re not seeing that now. Indeed what we’re seeing is an economic recovery in which nearly half of Kiwis don’t get a pay rise but markers of the top few doing well, such as luxury car sales, just keep climbing.
That’s not good enough. New Zealand is a nation that is founded on hard work and getting a fair go. Enriching the top few at the expense of the many is not a Kiwi, and it is not a Labour Party value.
Labour is the party of jobs. We have always believed a job with decent pay is the best way for families to get ahead.
That's why we’ll lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour before Christmas and lift it again to $16.25 an hour in 2015.
That's nearly $4000 a year in the pocket of a minimum wage worker. That will make a huge difference to their families, make a major contribution to reducing child poverty, and strengthen the incentives for people to get into work.
We will also restore the work rights that the National government has taken from New Zealanders – these are rights that protect New Zealanders from exploitation at work and give them the chance to negotiate a fair deal for themselves.
Labour is the party of jobs – good, secure, and fair jobs. That’s the foundation of a decent society and that’s the foundation of our work and wages policy.
You can read more about our policy here.
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