11 -10 against Brown on living wage

The people of Auckland should be very grateful to Councillor Cameron Brewer for moving what is a contender for the motion of the year:

“That the Governing Body agrees that Auckland Council first and foremost prepare a remuneration policy in the 2014/15 financial year, and as part of that policy work fully investigate the costs and wider implications on the organisation, business community and region of the Living Wage policy and have the CE back to the Governing Body at a later date.”

The motion was seconded by Dick Quax and passed by 11 votes to 10.

It is ridiculous to effectively raise the minimum wage to the level supposedly needed for a family of four to have a reasonable life.

Those families would be little if any better off because any gains in their wages would be offset by reductions in Working for Families payments.

The ones who would gain would be single, mostly young, workers, many of whom would be part-timers.

Aucklanders should be grateful that a majority, albeit a slim one, of the council have the good sense to require a thorough investigation of the costs and implications before committing a large sum of money to implementing the policy.

This was a big defeat for mayor Len Brown who campaigned on introducing a living wage.

But it’s a win for the city and its people.

4 Responses to 11 -10 against Brown on living wage

  1. Mike says:

    The “living wage” ideas are whacky and cause businesses to look for locations outside of the “living wage” area. Often these advocates here call themselves “progressives” though I haven’t met a single one of them who wanted any real progress. I guess “liberal” became a toxic label so they’ve discarded that in favor or “progressive.” Anyway, to combat businesses moving outside of the “living wage” area “progressives” generally also want to consolidate local jurisdictions so that business have nowhere nearby to escape. They always seem to have one more stick in bag with which to try to beat us.


  2. The 10 councillors who voted against this motion should be named and shamed. No-one has printed the voting results in full yet, but that 10 would actually still pander to this nonsense is very concerning. And Wellington… shame, shame,shame.


  3. Gravedodger says:

    The very Idea of “a living wage ” is total tosh.
    About as relevant as my relatively “early retirement” at age 58 when attempted to be justified and explained to wondering friends and acquaintances as a basic financial discussion topic.

    How much is enough? forget about that that as a first question. What are the aspirations and what will they cost must be the first assessment.

    The same for the complete nonsense of a “living wage”.

    Should the person have no children or 10.
    Do they wish to live in Otara or Herne Bay.
    Do they wish to drive a v12 Jaguar or a Honda Civic.
    Will they enjoy stews and home grown veges or will they want to dine on fillet steak at the sky tower.
    Do they wish to have a stubby of speights on Sunday or drink Vueve Clicquot every night.
    Happy with basic sports and exercise in the nearest park or a drug addled couch potato existence.
    Will a 3 BR one Bathroom suffice or will it be 6 ensuites.
    Will the local park be a recreation outlet or a dive trip to New Caledonia.
    A desk top and a landline or 5 laptops, 5 smat phones and 5 tablets.

    Take any two mom n pop with 3 ankle bighters and give them each $750 pw. I will warrant one family will be rich and the other poor.

    That is human nature and welfare is just a complicating incurable infection that potentially exists in any environment. Sadly it flourishes in a growing entitled class of consumers whom many agenda driven inhabitants of the MSM and all politicians continually exploit for advantage.

    IMO the most telling comment on the absurdity of it all came from Councillor Mark Peck, former Labour MP from Invercargill, now a recently elected newbie City Councillor for Wellington who although voting and wholsomely supporting the nonsense for WCC employees, openly admitted he could not “afford” to persue the stupid policy at his restaurant business and survive.
    Hello Mr Idiot Peck, how come OPMS make it suddenly affordable. There are plenty of people in struggle street Wellington who will be wondering what your answer to their rates bill problems of affordability will be because you see it will not just apply to the limited number of workers on the current $13.50 ph, relativities and extras will drive the total cost to ratepayers to the stratosphere and many jobs just like say at your eatery, will evaporate and disappear.
    That is the real world and as an employer you should be able to extrapolate what happens at home to the ratepayer owned business model you are charged to run.


  4. TraceyS says:

    I’ve got no problem with people striving to earn more. Nor with campaigners striving for the low-paid on their behalf. The problem here is the target organisation. Councils adopting the “living wage” will have a domino effect on the remuneration policies of many businesses, especially if it is extended beyond direct Council employees to external contractors.

    Now if our Councils, in general, presented as stunningly successful generalisable business-model exemplars then I’d have no problem in them telling us how to do aspects of our business. But they are not that. It would be good if they were.

    If the proposal is extended to contractors are they going to suddenly increase pay? No, they will look for ways to reduce the entry-level positions. Most likely through sub-contracting. That then raises the question of will the proposal also include sub-contractors? If it does, then you have a situation where contractors will be telling sub-contractors what they should be paying their staff. It’s just wrong. These are decisions for the individual business to make within the boundaries of the law and with the agreement of the employees concerned.

    The living wage campaigners should choose more appropriate target organisations, not just the easy targets.


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