Living wage

Incredible!!!! PSA let down members – Observation by the Owl

Brenda Pilott is one to watch…I posted this about a year ago.
11% increase on assets the members already own. How can you increase something that you are actually providing a service of subsidising for?.
But here is the rub.
PSA made $1.214M in 2013. Has $26M in assets.
How can the lowly pay involved in the living wage protest as directed by the PSA afford their own subsidised holiday homes?  Read more »

Living wage includes allowance for Sky TV

Beauty and Style blogger David Farrar stumbles into a political story, exposing the base assumptions that make up the “Living Wage” claim.

Brian Scott has published a critique of the so called Living Wage, and it should be compulsory reading for any politician that has treated the calculations done by Rev Waldegrave as a fit basis for public policy decisions. It is quite legitimate to have a view that wages should be higher, but to insist that the correct level is that calculated by Rev Waldegrave is a surrender to symbolism over substance.

The key findings by Scott are:

  1. Only 12% of low income households are two adults and two dependents, which the Waldegrave calculation is based on
  2. They assume you need 10 hours of childcare a week, even if the children are aged over 14
  3. They calculation of level of “basic necessities” is not based on any empirical measurement of the lowest cost of necessities, but merely a proportion of the average expenditure in deciles 1 to 5 (this one is key – it is a calculation based on the Browns should be spending as much as the Jones, and is not a caculation on how much income the Browns need)
  4. The calculation doesn’t account for some sources of household income such as trade-ins, sales, teenagers income (yet does include their costs) and school donation tax refunds
  5. The calculation double counts some expenditure such as childcare costs   Read more »
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Minister does job. Gets told off for doing it too well

beach-holidays

They like to call it beneficiary bashing.  What do you call it when a Minister gets criticised for making sure the rules are implemented properly?  Minister bashing?

Sue Moroney has a go at Paula Bennett for returning $1M of tax payers money to those who can’t afford overseas holidays

Labour’s social development spokeswoman, Sue Moroney, said there had always been penalties for travelling without valid reason, but Ms Bennett was wrong to claim beneficiaries could clearly afford to travel. Often the money was scraped together by other family members or was a gift.

“I think Paula Bennett’s attempts to paint this picture of beneficiaries off living the high life at Club Med is not accurate. If Paula Bennett thinks it’s easy to live on a benefit and somehow have money left over to go travelling, she needs to have a go at living on a benefit for a while and see how she gets on. Might have been the case in her day, but it’s not the case now.”

Come on now.  One moment Labour are trying to convince everyone that a quarter of New Zealanders live in deep poverty, and the  next minute you are trying to defend them going on overseas holidays?   Read more »

Pimping the Poor

Photo / Dean Purcell - via NZ Herald

Photo / Dean Purcell – via NZ Herald

Yet more from Simon Collins, Poor Pimper extraordinaire

“This is our living space at the moment,” says new dad Tali Harrington, indicating the small bedroom he lives in with his wife Joan and their 4-month-old baby Leila.

They share a six-bedroom Mangere state house with Harrington’s mum, his two brothers and sister and their spouses and children and four other nephews and a niece – 17 people in all.

“It’s quite stressful for us,” says Niue-born Harrington. “I need a healthy environment for my daughter, because a lot of them are smokers.”   Read more »

Minimum wages don’t work in alleviating poverty

Hat tip Lindsay Mitchell

A new study shows that the minimum wage as a means to alleviating poverty is a fallacy.

Minimum wages are poorly targeted to those actually in need, says Joseph Sabia, an associate professor of economics at San Diego State University.

  • Sabia’s own research has found no evidence that increasing the minimum wage reduces poverty, even among less-educated single mothers, who are specifically targeted by these policies.
  • Research by David Neumark and William Wascher found that while some poor workers that kept their jobs after the wage increase were lifted from poverty, others lost their jobs and fell into poverty. The Neumark and Wascher findings indicate that wage increases only redistribute income between poor and near-poor households.
  • Some in favor of wage increases have said that the poor record of wage increases on alleviating poverty is simply because poverty is an imperfect way of measuring the economic well-being of low-income households. As such, Sabia and Robert Nielson of the University of Georgia studied whether wages were effective in reducing alternate measures of well-being, finding no evidence that higher minimum wages helped people pay rent, pay utility bills on time, avoid financial or health insecurity, or make ends meet in other ways.  Read more »

The shortsightedness of a living wage

We all seem to forget we got started on shit wages.  We had to flat together to spread around the costs of rent, phone and power.  And these days, Sky and Internet as well.  Nobody back then felt that a McDonalds worker should be able to own a house, pay a mortgage, have a dog, a cat, two cars, smoke, drink, have a smartphone, Internet and Sky all on a McDonalds worker’s pay.

Yet that’s the narrative these days.

The problem with raising all wages to the point where they become a significantly higher cost to the employer is that it becomes financially viable to replace some of those workers with technology.

You’ve seen it at your supermarket.   Read more »

Wellington Council faces living wage blowout

The stupid politicians in Wellington who handed over their wage negotiations to Rev Charles Waldegrave are now facing the prospect of a massive blowout in the wages bill after the Rev. Charles Waldegrave decided to unilaterally increase his Living Wage assessment.

Wellington City Council is facing a budget blowout on its living wage policy, just two months after becoming the first council to adopt it.

Councillors voted 9-5 in December to adopt the living wage for its staff at a rate of $18.40 an hour. But Living Wage Aotearoa, the group that sets the rate, has now raised it to $18.80.

Andy Foster, who voted against the living wage in December, said the increase would lift the wage bill for the 400 staff directly employed by the council by $332,000 a year.

But he warned that figure could blow out to as much as $5 million if it was extended to people working for council-controlled organisations and on council contracts, and if relativity adjustments were made for other staff.

“These are big numbers,” he said.

The latest rise highlighted his philosophical concern that the council had effectively handed control of staff pay-setting to an outside organisation.  Read more »

Lame Duck Mayor interviewed by WO volunteer

Len Brown attended a union organised function yesterday, promoting the Living Wage.

You’d think in his fortress down south and at a union organised function he’d be safe, but no, the now ubiquitous security guards were there to protect the mayor.

Security guards shadow Len Brown

Security guards shadow Len Brown

Len Brown is very happy about his union involvement, even if he has a 12 year old writing his Facebook posts.

Len Brown Read more »

Cunliffe backs away from living wage

Deliciously ironic, don’t you think?  After whipping everyone up in a frenzy when he was running for leader of the Labour Party, telling all his union stooges there would be money for everyone, he’s now hit the reality of running for an election.

Fairfax Media’s political reporter tweets

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So right out of the gate he’s betrayed everyone who placed their hopes in him to close the gaps, make life easier for those who struggle and have an effective solution to child poverty.

Stay tuned as Cunliffe starts to roll out policy…

… just like National.

El Presidente further undermines new CEO

Via the tip-line

The new CEO of the BSC, Lillian Small, has once again been smacked in the arse by her boss El Presidente Patrick Lee-Lo.

This time Paddy has gone ahead and undermined any “new member” initiatives Lillian Small may have hoped to run, by declaring his support for the Living Wage campaign in the cleaning industry mag InClean. The SFWU and CTU must have been in the ear of Paddy over the Christmas holidays, re-educating him on his union roots.

It’s not online, but a member of the Fish Gang has scanned it and sent it in via the tip-line.

In a typical scumbag union tactic, Paddy blames the customer/client for not paying a Living Wage to their cleaners.

While the unions will be ecstatic with Paddy, what’s the bet BSC members getting tucked for $20k a year will be less than enthused at El Presidente’s comments.   Read more »