Finally, a council makes a sensible decision

I have been very critical of the Marlborough District Council in the past for utter stupidity when making spending decisions.

They’ve recently made a decision that would surprise most out there, knowing how utterly stupid this council has been in the past. One only needs to remember the bus shelter built with a hole in it to get the picture: Quote:

The Marlborough District Council has decided against a ‘living wage’ policy for staff, which would have bumped everyone up to at least $20.55 an hour.

The council felt the living wage concept, based on Auckland and Wellington prices, was not a good reflection of Marlborough’s lower wage average, a spokesperson said.

It also argued there were virtually no benefits to ratepayers and that the living wage was higher than the incomes received by many Marlborough ratepayers and residents.

The council declined the ‘living wage’ policy in June as part of long-term plan discussions. End quote.

All very sensible stuff. I couldn’t believe it. How can The Reverend Charles Tansey Waldegrave argue with logic like that.

Having poor ratepayers pay for council staff to earn way more than them is just ridiculous.  Quote:

A council spokesman said this week the council had seven staff members getting less than $20.55 an hour, though this was likely to drop to one following this year’s wage review.

The remaining staff member was an apprentice who would get a pay increase once they completed their training, he said.

While the council acknowledged a living wage policy would be a “relatively minor cost”, it said that the cost would increase if the council also applied the policy to contracted workers.

“The argument for doing this is if it is ‘good enough’ for council employees to be paid the living wage, then it should be ‘good enough’ for all workers delivering council functions,” the report said.​

The move would have made the council only the third accredited ‘living wage’ employer in the region, after Banjo Brews and Southern Water Engineering.

Southern Water Engineering managing director Stephen Leitch said it would be “fantastic” if the council adopted a living wage policy as it would “set an example”End quote.

What most ratepayers would like to see councils setting an example over would be fiscal restraint. Unfortunately most have no idea what those words mean, let alone where to find them in a dictionary.

When a council’s greater priority is setting social examples rather than fiscal restraint then they’ve very badly lost their way.

No one should have their wages set by The Reverend Charles Tansey Waldegrave from Wellington. The guy is a social womble and has no concept of how the money to pay for those wages is generated in the first place. Anyone who is described as ‘a crusader for social justice’ should be avoided at all costs.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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