CTU President Richard Wagstaff is today calling for a gamechanging shift in central control of the economy given yesterday’s abysmal Westpac McDermott Miller Employment Confidence Index survey result.
“We haven’t seen New Zealanders so depressed about the prospect of a real increase in their incomes since the Global Financial Crisis. With only a quarter of working people expecting any pay rise in the next year, I think we can safely say that leaving liveable wages up to the market is irresponsible leadership” he said.
“Two point seven percent gross domestic product growth is meaningless if the incomes of most Kiwis are only just keeping up with the cost of living. For many working New Zealanders, the global financial crisis has never really ended. People working without the support of their unions are back in the same place as 2008. Kiwi families are hoping for a signal that the economy will start working for them rather than against them.”
“Working people in the regions in particular need some signal from politicians that there will be proactive action to address the imbalance between economic growth and a fair return on their time. Expanded public services in the regions will not only deliver wages to raise a family on, they will kickstart the national economic engine that has seized up under National. Kiwis in the Bay of Plenty, Southland and Marlborough deserve the security of knowing that their Government has their back when markets fail.”
“Now is the time for a visionary approach from our leaders that says, yes, we can raise wages, and yes, you do deserve to be paid fairly for the work that you do. Confident economic leadership can right the ship with more affordable housing builds, support for industry development, infrastructure projects in the regions and a hands-on approach to fair incomes for working people.”