Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?

Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.

“More and more it seems the fortunate few at the top are reaping all the benefits, while people in the middle are feeling the squeeze. What has happened to the Kiwi idea that you get a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work?

“No one begrudges people who have high levels of responsibility being paid to reflect that. But with the Household Labour Force Survey showing the average wage and salary rose by just 1.6 per cent last year – CEO’s wages are rising 7.5 times faster than workers. The working people who are the engine room of the economy deserve their fair share of prosperity.

“As a society we need to seriously address the growing inequality in our society. As the gap between the rich and the rest gets bigger this causes unfairness, social instability and is a drag on our economy. Even more conservative organisations like the OECD and the IMF have begun to recognise reducing inequality should be the number one priority of governments.

“National is too focused on protecting those at the very top rather than being on the side of working people. For Labour, our top priority is to support middle New Zealand get their fair share. We will invest in the building blocks of opportunity such as health, education and housing. And we will lift New Zealand’s dire productivity record which will sustainably raise wages,” Grant Robertson says.