The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions today delivered their response to Budget 2023, with several announcements receiving significant support from working people, and an acknowledgement of the work that has been done.
NZCTU Economist Craig Renney said the Budget delivered more than many people were expecting.
“During an election year, Governments often fall into tired, fiscally conservative routines. This time, the Government has not fallen into that trap.
“The books are in a good place, and the economic forecast looks better than last year. I think it’s remarkable that this is where we are after weathering a global pandemic, the inflation that followed, and Cyclone Gabrielle”.
“What this means for working people is that wages are forecast to increase faster than inflation every year. Levels of employment are also predicted to rise in four years out of five in the forecast period.”
Renney said now was the time to do more. “Our economic growth has made New Zealand the best place in the world to be in business. Now, we want to be the best country in the world to be a worker, and to be a child.”
Sector group Kaimai Whaikaha welcomed the repealing of the Minimum Wage Exemption, a policy that allowed disabled workers to be paid less than the minimum wage.
Kaimahi Whaikaha Co-Convenor Linsey Higgins said “The repealing of this legislation is a game changer. As part of the wider disability community we’ve joined in lobbying to have this state sanctioned discrimination removed. All labour is skilled labour and disabled workers deserve to earn a fair days pay for a fair days work.”
The full NZCTU policy response can be read at: https://union.org.nz/budget-2023/