The Green Party wants a minimum wage of $18 an hour by 2017,
a minimum redundancy package of four weeks' pay, and measures
to shrink the gap between a company's highest and lowest
It also plans to abolish youth wages, 90-day trial periods
for new workers, and the employment law changes made for The
Hobbit that makes screen workers contractors by default.
Party co-leader Metiria Turei announced the workers policy in
Wellington this morning.
"Half of all kids below the poverty line have parents in work
and nearly 40 percent have parents who are in full time
work," Mrs Turei said.
Higher wages would make work a more effective pathway out of
poverty, she said.
The Greens want to bump the minimum wage to $15 an hour in
December, and then by $1 an hour each year to $18 an hour by
"Our minimum wage policy will raise pay packets for half a
million New Zealanders in our first term. A single person on
the minimum wage will have $125 a week or $6400 a year more
in the pocket under the Green Party policy," Mrs Turei said
The policy also features a Living Wage of $18.80 an hour for
core Government sector workers, a statutory minimum
redundancy package of four weeks' pay, and requiring large
companies to disclose the pay gap between male and female
workers, and the gap between top and bottom salaries.
The party also wants to tweak Working for Families abatement
rates so families can keep more of their own salaries when
their pay goes up.
The extra tax revenue from increasing the minimum wage would
be almost $2 billion over four years.
This would more than pay for the $1.1 billion cost over four
years for increasing the wages for Government workers, as
well as a $10 million social enterprise fund for increasing
cooperation and democracy in workplaces.
"Our policy will benefit the hundreds of thousands of New
Zealand workers who simply don't earn enough to cover their
basic costs," Mrs Turei said.
"Our workers plan will restore the Kiwi dream that is built
on the idea that if you work hard, and do your fair share,
your income will rise consistently and workers will have what
they need for a good life."
- By Derek Cheng of the New Zealand Herald