De­bate on liv­ing wage

Hamilton Press - - OUT & ABOUT - AMELIA CHRIS­TENSEN-ROSE

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.

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