TIME FOR PHIL GOFF TO SEE SENSE ON LIVING WAGE
Phil Goff’s plan to implement a living wage at Auckland Council should be scrapped after it was revealed by the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union that Wellington City Council’s own living wage policy led to job losses for seventeen parking wardens. Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance spokesperson, Jo Holmes, says:
“Phil Goff’s election promise to make a council living wage policy a top priority should be scrapped, now that we have New Zealand evidence of the policies backfiring and leading to a reduction in employment for low-skilled workers. Contrary to intentions, living wage policies actually hurt the very people they seek to help”.
“In Wellington seventeen parking wardens were not rehired when their contracts were brought back in-house – as a result of the wardens being under the skill-level of the living wage. Phil Goff’s plans for living wage means this is also likely to be the case in Auckland."
“That means ratepayers pay more for less and achieve none of the intended poverty reduction outcomes.”
“It is inequitable to impose the cost of social insurance on ratepayers, whose rates are not linked to income. Auckland ratepayers are already being slammed by rates well beyond the rate of inflation. It is wholly unfair to lump these costs on too.”
The Auckland Ratepayers’ Alliance calls on mayor Phil Goff to run Auckland Council effectively and efficiently – as he is obliged under section 10 of the Local Government Act 2002 – by pledging to end his plans to introduce a living wage policy.
1. Seventeen Wellington City Council employees lost their jobs for being under the skill level required for the living wage.
2. Councils hire on merit, so candidates under the skill level commensurate with the living wage will be crowded out by higher-skilled candidates.
3. There is no consensus or scientific basis for the calculation of a living wage. Any calculations are politically subjective.
4. Any living wage in New Zealand will be abated by up to 40% by decreases in government transfers and increased income tax obligations.
5. Living wages shift the burden from means-tested taxpayers to ratepayers and business owners.
6. Below-living-wage employment allows for in-work training, where employees trade off lower wages for the opportunity to learn skills that increase their future earning potential.
A summary and analysis paper by Jim Rose is available for download at www.taxpayers.org.nz/living_wage.
KEVIN LAVERY ADMITS A LIVING WAGE POLICY SHUTS OUT THE MINIMUM WAGED FROM COUNCIL JOBS
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union thanks Wellington City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery for so quickly conceding the central criticism of a report on living wage policies released by the Taxpayers’ Union last night, that those earning on or close to the minimum wage are often not shortlisted for living wage jobs.
Jim Rose, the Taxpayers’ Union Research Fellow who authored the report, says, “Mr Lavery’s acknowledgment proves the key flaw in living wage policies – they simply result in higher quality people being employed and do nothing to help those at the bottom of the pile. As a result, only 13 of the 30 previously employed parking wardens were up to the new mark and rehired when the Council brought parking services in-house.”
“Mr Lavery also confirmed the fatal flaw with living wage policies that employers hire on merit. Whenever they recruit for a living wage vacancy, such as when the parking wardens were brought in-house, the minimum wage workers who previously were hired for those council jobs do not get a callback. They are crowded out by more qualified, better-skilled workers who would previously would not consider council jobs such as a parking warden.”
The Taxpayers’ Union has today published the source documentation on its website including responses to official information requests lodged with the Wellington City Council about the implementation of its living wage policy.
The Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union, Jordan Williams, says, “Even Living Wage Wellington acknowledges that the job losses were because the people could not up-skill – their 2016 Campaign Review was our original source. As shown in the correspondence, Council officials subsequently confirmed this in writing."
Once upon a time Labour was the champion of the low paid. Not any more. It is the party of inner city elites enjoyed high incomes on the backs of the productive sectors of the economy who are forced to hand over ever greater portions of their incomes to pay for protected jobs in the state sector. Thanks a lot Phil.