The political parties now have most of their employment relations policies out. These policies have great importance for New Zealand’s wage levels, and already there are the predictable allegations by business that Labour’s policies will lead to unaffordable wage demands. Yet it is inescapable that National’s policies which weaken collective bargaining will mean lower wages. This commentary shows that higher wages are affordable, even with current economic output and growth rates. And of course wages could be higher yet, if productivity increased faster – and the results of that were fairly shared with wage and salary earners.