Home > Dollars & Sense, Social Issues > Dollars and common sense – raising the minimum wage.

Dollars and common sense – raising the minimum wage.


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Well reasoned –  David Clark has reasoned the issue very nicely.

Of course, those who argue that raising the minimum wage would harm our economy should consider two things;

1. Our best and brightest will leave NZ for where wages are higher. THAT will harm our economy.

2. If raising the minimum wage is a “bad thing”, consider the converse; dropping the minimum wage to $1 an hour. What would that do to our economy? Wreck it for sure.

Raising the minimum wage means people can share in the “economic pie” and buy the services and products that businesses have to offer. Keeping wages low may mean that ‘Acme XYZ Ltd’ has a lower wages-bill to pay it’s staff – but it also means that other low-paid workers can’t buy ‘Acme XYZ Ltd’s’ products and services.



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Interestingly, if those on minimum wage ($13.50) had a 20% wage increase, as did the Top 150 Rich Listers – that would raise their hourly wage to $16.20 an hour.

Question: why is it ok for the Top 150 Rich Listers to increase their wealth by a staggering 20% (during a global recession, no less!) – but not ok for the lowest paid to have a better wage?

Can any National Party supporter explain this anomaly in New Right dogma?

In 2008 and again in 2011, Dear Leader John Key promised to raise wages to match Australia,

“We will be unrelenting in our quest to lift our economic growth rate and raise wage rates.” – John Key, Prime Minister, 29 January 2008

See:  2008: A Fresh Start for New Zealand – John Key

“The driving goal of my Government is to build a more competitive and internationally-focused economy with less debt, more jobs and higher incomes.” – John Key, Prime Minister, 21 December 2011

See:  Speech from the Throne

Instead, the converse has proven to be the reality,


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And it’s a funny old world, really.

Voters abandoned the government that gave them this…


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… for this,


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Never let it be said that some New Zealanders don’t enjoy a bit of masochism every so often, and vote National for a sound bout of  self-whipping.

Unfortunately, it’s the rest of us that end up paying for that self-indulgent choice at the ballot box.

Here’s a clever idea – all those people who vote National should have a wage/salary freeze during the term of that government.  After all, as some National supporters keep insisting, raising the minimum wage “harms the economy”. (I assume the same holds for all  wages and salaries?)

The rest of us, who vote for Labour, Greens, Mana, et al, can have our wages/salaries linked to Australia’s pay rates.

Now I ask you – what could be fairer than that?


Frank Macskasy - Blog - Frankly Speaking





Previous related blogposts

Bill English: Minimum Wage Not Sufficient to live on!

Treasury’s verdict on raising the Minimum Wage?

Treasury’s verdict on raising the Minimum Wage? – Part II

Fifty cents an hour? I’m under-whelmed by Dear Leader’s Generosity

“It’s one of those things we’d love to do if we had the cash”

Jobs, jobs, everywhere – but not a one for me?



= fs =

  1. Robbie Kaiviti
    22 August 2012 at 12:55 pm

    If a businesses success or not depends on paying their employees crap wages, then its business model is faulty and they do not belong in business. Honestly, a 15 dollar per hour minimum wage with not break this country and in fact, the low wage economy only denotes a country that is seriously in the doodoo’s. More money in the system is good for business. One thing that remains a curiosity to me though, is where is the initiatives from government and the other parties, to drive down the cost of living? There is more than way to skin the proverbial cat. Cost of living has everything to do with lifting peoples standards of living.

  2. Deborah Kean
    23 August 2012 at 5:39 pm

    The logic as to why raising the minimum wage is a good thing, is too simple for the Nats to follow… they are looking for the ‘angle’ – but there isn’t one..

  1. 7 August 2014 at 8:03 am

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