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Topic # 151782 4-Sep-2014 20:54
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Given these issues only bubble up closer to elections, what are your thoughts about the issues with the minimum wage, what is right/wrong about it?

This article has prompted me to ponder: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/10454903/Woes-of-minimum-wage-felt-by-family

Firstly, no one should be on the minimum wage permanently - my parents were on it, I slept in the living room. Circumstances differ from the above but I can relate to it - I also started on minimum wage, and never relied on any government support simply because we believe there were more unfortunate people out there that would benefit from.

Today it is quite different and I assure you it is by no accident. We got by because of sensible budgeting. What I disagree on the article is certainly "Their combined fortnightly income is $2000, nearly half of which is spent on rent."

It is almost certain that the near 50% is clearly not a wise budgeting decision. I am confident a smaller warm, and dry accommodation that is healthy for the family is achievable. Even today, my mortgage repayments do not equate to $1k a fortnight (although given the interest rate rises, I'd happily budget to pay more when the fixed rate rolls off)

Also should the measure of success, happiness is being able to afford to take your family to the movies for those who are stretched on the budget?

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  Reply # 1122155 4-Sep-2014 21:07
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$500 a week for rent isn't unusual there. It's entirely possible that he can't find anything cheaper. I imagine there's a lot of families spending 40-50% of their income on rent. As to his comment about taking his kids to the movies, I took that as being not necessarily about movies per se but more about a father that wants to be able to treat his kids once in awhile and not being able to. 

 

 

 

 

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  Reply # 1122156 4-Sep-2014 21:08
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I really don't think minimum wage of $18.80 is the answer. everyone is paid between that and the current minimum wage will want their wages up and so on.

Living wage is calculated for 2 adults working with 2 kids.  Does a 16 who has just left school, gone into work deserve that as a starting wage?

Costs rise, businesses will maintain their margins, or fire people, or automate menial tasks/robots/kiosks etc.

There has to be an incentive for people to get ahead, work harder, raise productivity and move up the food chain, not sit on the minimum wage or dole all their lives.

One immediate thing this gentleman in the story could do is stop paying his union membership fees and save that money.

Using the living wage formula dreamed up last year, the living wage should actually be $22.89 not $18.80

 

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  Reply # 1122159 4-Sep-2014 21:12
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Firstly, time to bring some facts to the table.

This guy is a labour activist and campaigner. 

He has just returned from a 7 week holiday in the USA. 

He is apparently on over $18 an hour, earning 1500 a fortnight. The article does not actually state he is on minimum wage but you'd be forgiven for being mislead. 

"The 43-year-old works “like an animal” for at least 40 hours a week"  --- Really, only 40 hours? Not winning sympathy here. 

If he does have kids and earns so little there is a good chance he pays negative tax due to working for families -- although, I'm guessing as he has not given any details other than those that sound good for his cause. 

Shocking journalism going on here. 




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  Reply # 1122165 4-Sep-2014 21:26
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I used to work 65 hours a week and get $1600 a fortnight. And that was on $17.80 an hour.

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  Reply # 1122173 4-Sep-2014 21:40
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Curious how close to $500/week they are actually spending on rent, given ti says 'nearly half'. $500/week imo would be above average for the area, though not significantly. I know a few people in the Birkdale/Beachhaven area renting 3 bedroom places at about $400 - $420/week.Huge difference from $500 when you're that tight on budget. I also love how it makes a big deal that he works 40 hours a week - good on him, but isn't that a 'standard' work week? I'd imagine most people working full time actually put in over that, once you look at it. Simply piling the minimum wage up is only going to cause job losses, business closures, and other negative results. Honestly, if you're in your 40s and still only capable of minimum wage jobs, you probably need to take a look at what you're doing and how and reevaluate a number of choices. Educate yourself, get up. There's plenty of options for this that don't cost, and can be done alongside working.




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  Reply # 1122250 5-Sep-2014 03:10
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surfisup1000:

"The 43-year-old works “like an animal” for at least 40 hours a week"  --- Really, only 40 hours? Not winning sympathy here. 




Depends on who's definition of works like an animal is.

I get paid only just above the minimum wage at the moment due to my health and I can hardly walk for the first two hours in the morning because of screwy hips after a night of physical lifting and walking pulling loaded pallets for most of the night.

If you think working 40 hours like an animal near minimum wage is not much work, my question is what is your current job and the physical aspect of it? So I can understand what's relative to you in that judgement.

A minimum wage job at 40 hours can certainly be a lot more taxing on the body than a piss easy 60 hours in an office on a computer and on the phone filling out paper work and lifting cups of coffee and and replacing computer parts. Been there done that. I call that a job, not satisfying real work. So each persons definition is different.

I feel for him though. Paying more than a third of income towards rent would suck. To have a mortgage you need to usually have a thrid for the mortgage, a third for expenses, and a third left over to quality for the loan. Most rents swollow up a bigger portion than that and on a minimum wage that's easily money gone.

But raising the minimum wage? Not the answer. It's only a temporary patch. Money doesn't grow, it only transfers from one place to another. You raise the minimum wage, you raise costs to business, they up their price or cut back hours on casuals, or inflation goes up because spending power increases in order to control money supply pressures then your minimum wage increase is pointless. If this country wants more money, infact forget money it has no real inherint fixed worth, if this country wants more 'wealth', it needs to increase it's real value/productivity vs the cost of producing this productivity compared to other countries.

Increase in minimum wage is asking for an increase in unemployment. The raw reality is we shouldn't have a minimum wage. There should be better working environment protections and prosecutions for those trying to rip off peoples labour, but we either need to be more competitive or become more productive. New Zealander's should be taught to become better investors if they want to see some of the money back from New Zealand businesses instead of working for one's they don't have shares in :o)

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  Reply # 1123299 6-Sep-2014 19:16
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khull: Given these issues only bubble up closer to elections, what are your thoughts about the issues with the minimum wage, what is right/wrong about it? This article has prompted me to ponder:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/10454903/Woes-of-minimum-wage-felt-by-family


The Living Wage Movement itself has focused on education about wage levels and education about voluntary improvements of the situation for mutual benefit. The single biggest success of the approach is The Warehouse realising the value of implementing a career oriented strategy which recognises both skills and service and committing the company to training for mutual benefit. There have been many smaller successes also.

For a business essentially it's about setting a challenge and working through the steps required to achive it.

I see on the Living Wage Movement home page they have a list of political parties who have policy to employ only govt contractors (not including short term contracts) who commit to that goal.

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  Reply # 1123301 6-Sep-2014 19:36
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to ban companies from gaining Government contracts, even if they are the cheapest and best provider, for not supporting living wage is completely idiotic

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  Reply # 1123315 6-Sep-2014 20:06
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I'm not sure to what extent that is the actual policy. You would have to review each individual party policy to determIne that and any detail. My guess there would be a range of positions.

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  Reply # 1123416 6-Sep-2014 22:44
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Hmm, $1000 per week, $500 on rent, $100 on food, what does the other $400 go on?




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  Reply # 1123439 7-Sep-2014 00:32
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coffeebaron: Hmm, $1000 per week, $500 on rent, $100 on food, what does the other $400 go on?


Transport, health care, kids clothing, electricity, school trips it all adds up

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  Reply # 1123453 7-Sep-2014 01:18
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Two kids at school and the mother hasn't got a job - something tells me that things aren't urgent enough for her to contribute to the finances other than being a 'stay at home mum'. Oh, and once again I ask - was it smart to bring children into a situation knowing full well you don't have the means to support them? something tells me that they were struggling before having kids - why does this couple think having another two mouths to feed will make the situation better?




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  Reply # 1123461 7-Sep-2014 02:40
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 "At the moment I can't afford to take my girls to the movies. So I have to ask: Who has failed my family? The system has.


This guy needs a reality check. 

I'm pretty sure most people would have to budget for a movie night with the family now days. A 4 person family pass is $58 alone at event cinemas. Chuck $10 for gas on top of that with the whole family packed in the car. Some movie snacks, maybe another $20. It easily stacks up to being a whole days pay @min wage on one night at the movies.  

His family is fed, clothed, and have a roof over their heads. He might well be struggling, sure. But he should count himself lucky because there are a hell of a lot of people worse off than his family through no fault of their own. 




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  Reply # 1123463 7-Sep-2014 03:49
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The article says he spends $100 a week on food.

I disagree his family is fed based on that figure.

This planet has enough resources to feed every person alive. Artifical scarcity causes poverty.

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  Reply # 1123501 7-Sep-2014 09:08
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khull: Given these issues only bubble up closer to elections, what are your thoughts about the issues with the minimum wage, what is right/wrong about it?

This article has prompted me to ponder: http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/10454903/Woes-of-minimum-wage-felt-by-family

Firstly, no one should be on the minimum wage permanently - my parents were on it, I slept in the living room. Circumstances differ from the above but I can relate to it - I also started on minimum wage, and never relied on any government support simply because we believe there were more unfortunate people out there that would benefit from.

Today it is quite different and I assure you it is by no accident. We got by because of sensible budgeting. What I disagree on the article is certainly "Their combined fortnightly income is $2000, nearly half of which is spent on rent."

It is almost certain that the near 50% is clearly not a wise budgeting decision. I am confident a smaller warm, and dry accommodation that is healthy for the family is achievable. Even today, my mortgage repayments do not equate to $1k a fortnight (although given the interest rate rises, I'd happily budget to pay more when the fixed rate rolls off)

Also should the measure of success, happiness is being able to afford to take your family to the movies for those who are stretched on the budget?


Then there would be the complaints that where they saved $100 a week on rent they paid $150 a week in transportation.

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