Mike Hosking’s award for for financial delusion using other people’s money goes to the Wellington City Council committee which voted for the living wage plan.
. . . Let’s just work through how this will unfold. Wellington City Council will pay their contractors their perception of this ‘living wage’. What then happens is two fold.
Firstly everyone else who does similar work will want the same pay rate, thus putting pressure on companies that can’t afford it given they don’t have the luxury of a fiscal well that can be drawn from at any given moment. Spending money is always easy when it isn’t your own.
After that happens, everyone will want more because you will have created a fiscal distortion in the workplace. And once everyone has stuck their hand up, all of a sudden it won’t be a living wage anymore. It will just be a wage that lots of people get. And given they’ve got it, they’ll spend it. And when they spend it, it will drive inflation up, which will lead to price increases, which will lead to the same clowns who started it saying “jeez, that wage isn’t going as far as it used to, so we’ll top it up again”. . .
Anyway, the upshot is all this is going to do is add a cost to doing business. When you do that, the consumer ends up paying or people start losing their jobs. . .
If businesses want to adopt a living wage for their employees, that’s their business and their money.
Councils have very little of their own money. They might make a bit more from council owned companies and recover costs from some activities but most of what they have is what’s earned by and paid to them by ratepayers.
Some of them are businesses which might want to pay their own staff more but can’t afford to do so.
It wasn’t within the rules, but new councillor Nicola Young attempted to make a point about the living wage with an amendment yesterday.
Before voting against the living wage plan, Ms Young tried to move “that all councillors who support implementation of the living wage assure us that they will pay the living wage to their employees – including cleaners, baby-sitters, gardeners – with the same implementation date as Wellington City Council”.
The move followed fellow fresh councillor Mark Peck – who supported the living wage – admitting that he did not pay all his hospitality staff $18.40 – “and I won’t”. . .
“Some councillors supported charging ratepayers more to pay a living wage for council employees when they won’t do the same for their own staff.”
“In the case of Cr Mark Peck his reported comments suggest that he can afford to pay his hospitality staff a living wage but just ‘won’t’.”
“That is shameful. He is happy for Wellington ratepayers, including those living in poverty, to pay more for something he doesn’t see the value of.”
“It’s a case of hypocritical politicians spending other people’s money on something they won’t. So much for Cr Peck being a steward of ratepayers’ money.”
So there we have it the financially deluded and hypocritical are running the capital city.
Those of us who live there can only hope the delusion and hypocrisy is stopped at the full council meeting and the rest of us will hope it doesn’t spread any further.