I fear all the amazing work the SFWU have put into a Living Wage will fall on deaf ears in this Government.
The new Minister of Labour, Simon Bridges, claims that the Government want to raise the standard of living via the minimum wage. If that is true, sadly many NZers will die in poverty before they see any horizon out of poverty. Between 1997 and 1999, National didn't lift the minimum wage from the pathetic $4.20 per hour. From 2000 to 2008, Labour moved it from $4.55 to $12.00 and since then Key has taken it to $12.50 up to $13.50 in 4 years. Just another example of how NZ is better off under Labour than National.
We shouldn't be surprised that our vacant aspiration multi-millionaire leader who lives in a bubble world of wealth has zero empathy with the poor. For all of John's "I grew up in a state house' shtick, the welfare Key enjoyed was gold plated, where as today it's shit encrusted.
Let us not forget as conveniently as the mainstream media has what John has said about the poor while he's been the Prime Minister. He described a Universal child payment last year as 'dopey'
John said that the poor required food parcels, not because of the economic policy he implemented, but because it was their own fault...
Food parcel families made poor choices, says Key
Prime Minister John Key says beneficiaries who resort to food banks do so out of their own "poor choices" rather than because they cannot afford food.
...then there was what John Key told Church leaders in December of 2010...
“If we cancelled welfare to 330,000 people currently on welfare, how many would starve to death? Bugger all.”
...Key hates poor people. He blames them for the poverty they live in and he doesn't think any would die if he cut off their benefit. His $50-$200million wealth insulates him from poverty and a genuine understanding of the pain those on the bottom of the social heap have to endure.
The true tragedy for NZ's poor is that Key's vacant aspiration and empty optimism routine cons so many of them into voting for National when National's policy is counter productive to their interests. The two bob tory phenomena is made more bitter when you consider how our inequality has soared to it's highest level under Key.
John Key is the aspirational piece of cheese forever out of reach of the rat, promising salvation if they just work harder. The reality is that many NZers work their fingers to the bone and have nothing but National's hollow promises to put on the table at the end of the week.
We need a social floor in NZ and it is the Government's responsibility to build that social floor. MANA's 'Feed the Kids' Bill will be debated mid year, that is an attempt to at least stop the hemorrhaging. The SFWUs Living Wage is a means to start reversing the scourge of poverty, but it's attempts will make no headway with this Government.
The 1% have no interest in the lowest members of the 99%