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Cost of living rising for poorest households

The Council of Trade Unions is warning that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures out today illustrate that the cost of living is increasing disproportionately for those on lower incomes; resulting in the poor getting poorer.

CTU Economist Craig Renney comments, “The cost of essential items like food and rent are increasing at a higher rate than luxury items. This directly and unfairly impacts those on lower incomes. This data is a timely reminder of why regular increases to the Minimum Wage continue to be necessary, and why those on the lowest incomes continue to need increases in their wages ahead of general inflation. We must progress the implementation of Fair Pay Agreements; they are an essential part of making sure that our lowest paid working people are not left behind.”

“These figures also signal that if the government were to invest in additional spending to support its goals, that such spending would not be consumed simply by higher prices.”

“With official interest rates being near zero it is the right time to put long-term investment into New Zealand’s needs. As the Prime Minister signaled on election night, New Zealanders would all benefit from investing to ‘building back better’ from COVID-19,” Renney said.