FOOD FOR THOUGHT: KCDC Lead On The Living Wage?

It takes $20.20 an hour to sustain a basic life, so how is $15.75 supposed to support anyone? The minimum wage makes me embarrassed for New Zealand as we are meant to be a developed country. Patrick Bray

Closing the income gap

By Roger Childs

Patrick is a local college student and has given us plenty of food for thought on this crucial issue. (Scroll down to June 26 to see his excellent article Enough to live on?)

Patrick Bray

A Living Wage  is just one way to  begin reducing poverty in this so-called developed nation of ours and start closing the income gap.

It is incredible that the Prime Minister is once again talking about tax reductions, when so much needs to be done at the lower end of the income spectrum. Of course there is an election coming up.

Will our Kapiti local body provide some leadership which we are not getting from the National Government? There is a good example to follow from the capital.

Wellington City Council (WCC) provides leadership

E tū, New Zealand’s largest private sector union is welcoming today’s vote by the Wellington City Council for an Annual Plan which includes a commitment to move all directly employed council workers, as well as some contractors to the full New Zealand Living Wage rate of $20.20 an hour on 1 July, with wages for other contractors also increasing as their contracts come up for renewal. Scoop Regional

The WCC have been discussing the issue for some time and it is great to see the Living Wage featuring in their Annual Plan.

Meanwhile in Lower Hutt they have dodged the issue. Campbell Barry, who represents Wainuiomata – one of the local body’s poorer areas, wanted the Council to stop paying for councillors’ lunches and also start providing the Living Wage to its lower paid workers.

The Mayor used his casting vote to retain the paid lunches and the elected Council buck-passed the Living Wage issue over to the chief executive.   … it was decided employees would be paid the living wage, but with the “sham” proviso that this would happen only if the chief executive deemed it was the most cost-effective way to do business. Stuff

Leadership from the Kapiti Coast District Council (KCDC)?

Council does not currently have a policy on the living wage. Caleb Brown, KCDC Content and Channels Specialist

Leadership needed from the fancy building

However they do provide free lunches. The budget for these has been reduced and now sits at 9.50 per head.

Kapiti readers will recall that a very early decision made by Council after last year’s election, was to vote themselves an increase in salary and to hike up the remuneration for key committee chair people.

If the issue for lower paid workers had come up in the last triennium, I can think of at least three councillors, who still sit round the big table in Council Chambers, who would have been batting for the Living Wage.

KCDC should heed the wisdom of our college writer. We’ll give him the last word.

The Living Wage has advantages for future generations. If parents get paid more, kids will be the ones that will immediately benefit. Patrick Bray





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It is encouraging to hear Patrick speak so passionately about such an important issue. Thanks for putting the challenge out to the KCDC. The important point is that we see people and people’s ability to live well as of utmost importance. If some people live well, but others are struggling then it affects all of us. Thanks for your thoughts here.