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Minimum wage challenging for Prime Minister and working Kiwis too

CTU President Richard Wagstaff has challenged the Prime Minister to show some real leadership when it comes to wages by setting a clear target for the minimum wage.

The call follows today’s admission by Bill English that he would find it “quite a challenge” to live on the minimum wage of $15.75 an hour, in reply to questioning from a Gisborne apple sorter.

“Bill English told the Gisborne workers that “consistent moderate minimum wage increases” are the way to “raise the floor”.

“Frankly, the National Government have a poor record when it comes to making a meaningful difference in the lives of hard working Kiwis. The minimum wage has increased just $3.75 over Nationals 9 years in Government.”

“Where is the vision? The aspiration? As a nation we should aim higher. Having a rationale for determining what the minimum wage should be, makes sense.”

“Setting the minimum wage at two thirds of the average wage provides a greater level of fairness – something Kiwis are calling for.”

“Of course lots of employers are increasingly embracing the concept of paying those they employ a wage they can actually live on – the Living Wage,” Wagstaff said.