Debate on living wage
How much inequality is okay? According to National MPDavid Bennett, it’s not something that can be measured. At a living wage meeting held at Fairfield Intermediate, four Hamilton candidates - Pita Paraone (NZ First), David Bennet (National), Jamie Strange (Labour) and Jo Wrigley (Greens) - talked to audience members about their thoughts on the living wage and what the parties would do if elected. The Living Wage Aotearoa New Zealand campaign says a living wage is the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life. The two richest people in New Zealand have more money than the poorest 30 per cent of adults, Annie Newman from the Living Wage movement said. When asked if National would ‘‘support and promote the living wage being implemented for all those employed in the core public service within 12 months of the new government being formed’’ Bennett declined to answer. NZ First support a living wage of $20 per hour, according to Paraone. Strange and Wrigley said their respective parties would look to extend the living wage to contractors and people in the public sector.