“An increase of 3.5% in the minimum wage compared with 5.5% increase for politicians is appalling. It is another example of the wealthy looking after themselves and showing no regard for the poor” says Peter Malcolm, National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc “And the politicians’ increase is back-dated to last July whereas the minimum wage increase takes place from April this year–disgusting” he goes on to say.
When you take into account that these increases are percentages ie the increase for those on the minimum wage working 40 hours a week is $1040 per year, the increase for a backbench MP is $8200 per year and for politicians further up the scale it is even greater ie the Prime Minister gets an extra $23400 per year the picture looks even worse.
It is interesting that the politicians, led by the Prime Minister, are saying the increases are out of their hands and they are unhappy about them, but despite promises, they are not prepared to change the rules.
It is also worth noting that the increases are based on what is happening at the top of the private sector which tells us just what is happening to remuneration at this level across the country.
Apart from issues of social justice, fairness, poverty and paying a minimum wage that enables people to live reasonable lives, it is a proven fact that inequality is bad for many aspects of society including the economy and these pay increases for politicians clearly show the situation is getting worse in New Zealand and that we have leaders who do not seem to recognise this problem, let alone do anything about it.