minimum wage

He might have got the angry back, but he’ll be excommunicated for comments like this

Andrew Little has dragged the angry back out of the closet. That may work for him short term, but his own party and activists will turn on him if they read Richard Harman’s piece on Little dragging Labour to the centre.

They will especially be madder than a cut snake when they read this:

But when Little was specifically asked what he would do to solve the growing gap between rich and poor he revealed a scepticism about the effectiveness of raising the minium wage or introducing a living wage or a universal basic income.

He said that one in five households spent more than 50% of their income on housing costs and that the average household, after they had paid their housing costs, last year was only ahead by $365 and that did not include any adjustment for inflation.

“The average household last year went backwards; incomes are not keeping up with the real cost of living.   Read more »

The Living Wage doesn’t work

“Focus on improving skills and paying what a job is worth is best way for businesses to recognise their responsibility to the communities in which they operate – not paying a ‘subjective and artificial’ Living Wage.”, writes Michael Barnett, head of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.

All businesses, including councils hire on merit, so paying a higher rate without asking for better performance is not sound business practice. Private sector businesses would soon go out of business, but councils take the easy option – they simply pass the cost on to rate payers.

“That’s why the ‘living wage’ is not good business, or good for business. Most businesses recognise this. “It is of concern, however, that Auckland Council and others are leading the charge on this flawed concept – they don’t face up to ‘real business’ price-cost pressures like other businesses do, and instead are expedient in exploiting the revenue they receive from ratepayers,” said Mr Barnett.

The $10,000 difference between the just under $32,000/year minimum wage and new $42,000/year living wage is a significant extra ‘social’ cost to make up.

Of course, the Auckland Chamber recognises that low wages can make it difficult for workers and their families. But Government welfare policies exist to address this, including the setting of a ‘minimum’ wage to prevent unscrupulous employers paying too little. Read more »

How the minimum wage hurts young people

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So, you want a higher minimum wage…or even a living wage?

Then welcome to the dole queue. When faced with ever increasing wage bills with little or no improvement in productivity it gets to a point where employers simply replace workers altogether with machines.

It’s official: McDonald’s says that every one of its 14,000 stores nationwide will be replacing cashiers with automated touch-screen kiosks. They’re starting with stores where minimum-wage laws mandate the highest rates, such as Florida, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

According to CNNMoney:

So the fast food giant is rolling out self-order kiosks, mobile pay options, an updated interior design, even table service. The changes are already starting to show up at locations in Florida, New York and Southern California, where 500 restaurants have been updated. Restaurants in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, D.C. and Seattle will get upgrades in early 2017. Now, McDonald’s loyalists will be able to place their customized order on a touch screen, take a seat and have their meal brought right over. Next year, they’ll even have the option of mobile ordering.

That means that, eventually, more than 20 million customers every day will place their own orders at a kiosk or on a mobile device and then have them delivered by a human to their table. And it’s just a matter of time before those humans will be replaced by machines as well.   Read more »

More good news: lower income people had highest pay rises

This news will rip the y-fronts of Labour, since they always bang in about those at the bottom not enjoying bigger payrises.

Turns out they do and have.

If you were asked to imagine the type of household that has experienced the biggest pay boost this year, you might not pick minimum wage workers.

But new data shows that it is the lowest-earning people in New Zealand who saw the biggest boost to their pay packets over the past 12 months.

Recent data from Statistics NZ showed that, nationwide, earnings across self-employed, employed and those on government benefits increased 5 per cent year-on-year in the June quarter.

The median weekly earnings from paid employment rose $44 to reach $924 a week between June 2015 and June 2016. That is the largest percentage increase since 2007.

But looking further into the data, of those on wages and salaries, those earning less than $500 a week had the biggest year-on-year percentage pay rise, up 4.8 per cent between June 2015 and 2016.

The median income for that bracket increased from $271 a week to $284.

That was followed by a 2.6 per cent increase for those earning between $500 and $770. The median income in that bracket is now $670, compared to $653 a year ago.

Everyone earning more than $770 as week is now earning marginally less than they were the same time last year.

Read more »

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Does it do good or does it feel good?

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In a continuation of the article about the differences between the left and the right’s worldview, let’s analyse a 2007 political policy decision by asking these questions:

Does it do good?

Does it feel good?

In 2007 the Labour government changed the law so that the intellectually disabled would be paid the minimum wage. This was a feel good policy and they ignored the many families (including my own) that begged them to reconsider. We told them it would hurt intellectually disabled men and women who needed a lot of supervision and staff support in order to be able to work. If they forced sheltered workshops to the pay minimum wage then they would have to close. Businesses who previously were happy to take on a disabled person would shut their doors because an intellectually disabled person needs support to do their job, unlike an able-bodied person.

The Labour government, under Helen Clark, ignored the pleas of families all over New Zealand because, to them, this was a policy that looked great on paper and made people ignorant of the truth feel good.

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Labour should read this since they are talking about the Future of Work

Want to know why automation is replacing menial jobs?

Labour want to know…as they have their Ten Big bumper sticker slogans and attempt to find out why it is that automation is going to replace every job.

They should read the Wall Street Journal article about restaurant automation and wonder no more about why it is people are being replaced.

Consumer preferences, reduced technology costs and government policies that increase labor costs are driving a trend toward automation in the restaurant business. If you make something more convenient and less expensive, it tends to catch on.

As recently as the 1960s, gas-station employees would rush to fill your car’s tank, wash the windows, check the oil and put air in the tires. Telephone operators made your long-distance calls and bank tellers cashed your checks. Those jobs now are either gone or greatly diminished.

Today, we reduce jobs whenever we shop on Amazon instead of our local retail outlet, use an Uber app rather than calling a cab dispatcher, order a pizza online, use an airport kiosk to print boarding passes, or scan groceries. Each of these changes in behavior has increased convenience and reduced labor costs—and competitive businesses pass the savings to their customers.

In the restaurant business, the increasing impact of technology doesn’t mean that a robot will soon roll up to your table and say, “Hi, I’m Trudi4783. I’ll be your automated server today.” But technology can replace certain functions. Touch screens are already transforming the way food is ordered in many restaurants.

In late 2013, Chili’s and Applebee’s announced that they were installing more than 100,000 tableside tablets at their restaurants across the country, allowing customers to order and pay their bill without ever talking to a waiter. The companies were soon followed by Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera Bread, Olive Garden and dozens of others. This means fewer servers covering more tables. Quick-service restaurant chains are also testing touch-screen ordering.

Read more »

Perhaps if we set the minimum wage at $50/hr, all our problems will be solved

The other day Martyn Bradbury declared :

The living wage is $19.80 – let’s push for $20. The arguments for increasing it outweigh the negative. People spend that money directly into their neighbourhoods, small business will benefit from more local spending – large corporations will get grumpy. But screw them.

This demonstrates the retarded spasticity of the left wing when it comes to simple economics.

But it isn’t just this fool. It seems there are plenty of others pushing for the minimum wage to become the highest in the OECD.

Earlier this week, the government raised the minimum wage by 50 cents, and the country’s living wage movement announced a new rate of $19.80.

In a debate on RNZ’s Sunday Morning programme, Eric Crampton, who is an economist and the director of the New Zealand Initiative, said among developed countries New Zealand already had the highest minimum wage in relation to the average wage.

Mr Crampton said it was unreasonable to set the minimum wage high enough for people to live off it without any subsidy.   Read more »

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Wellington Chamber of Commerce to seek judicial review of Council decision over living wage

Very pleased to see that the Wellington Chamber of Commerce is seeking a judicial review of the council’s dopey living wage rules.

It’s about time that dud councillors were held personally responsible for their dopey decisions.

Wellington City Council’s decision to pay its security contractors a living wage is headed to the High Court, and ratepayers could end up paying some of the legal bills.

The Wellington Chamber of Commerce announced on Friday that it would seek a judicial review of the council’s living wage policy.

The council, which has been paying its own staff a living wage since 2013, voted 9-6 in October to require its security services contractors do the same.

The living wage is the hourly rate a worker needs to participate as an active citizen in the community. That amount is currently $19.25 per hour but the council’s interpretation is $18.55.

Bumping up the wages of all security guards, noise control officers and cash collection staff was estimated to cost the council an extra $1.7 million on top of the price of the seven-year contract.    Read more »