Prime Minister John Key is on record as saying he wishes he could raise the minimum wage to $30.00 “by this afternoon”. What an excellent idea! Mr Key goes on to say that it is just a dream that couldn’t possibly come true. But is it really?
Many New Zealanders earn a lot more than $30 an hour already. There are probably a few that earn more than $30 in 60 seconds.
According to the Prime Minister’s reasoning we, and low income earners in particular, must already be paying higher prices for goods and services, higher interest rates and we must have higher unemployment than we need to as a result of the increased wage bill from the people already earning above $30 an hour.
If we can’t afford as a country for everyone to earn at least $30 an hour, why should anyone be able to earn above that? Especially if low income earners have to pay the price.
The Alliance Party challenges the Prime Minister to do the math. How much would it cost employers to pay every worker at least $30 an hour?
Then consider how much extra money would be spent in the local economy boosting local businesses and creating extra jobs. How much extra the government would get back in tax revenue and how much less the government would have to spend on housing supplements and working for families tax credits, given that a full time worker on $30 an hour would earn around $62,000 a year.
Raising the minimum wage to $30 an hour is a brilliant idea, totally believable and totally workable. It would cement New Zealand as a high wage economy. Mr Key, dare to dream. You could make your dream a reality, with a stroke of a pen.