New data that shows business executives received 12 percent pay rises last year, on average, while over 40 percent of all working people received no pay rise at all shows we need action to rebalance our economy, the Green Party said.*
“The evidence is clear that economic inequality creates serious social issues – but we can address these issues by taxing the highest earners a bit more. They can afford it,” Green Party workplace relations spokesperson Denise Roche said.
“When the gap between top and bottom incomes is contributing to social problems getting worse, then there’s a strong case for the Government to step in to rebalance our economy.
“Many working families are really doing it tough with rising housing costs, while CEOs earn enough to buy a new house in Auckland every year.
“As well as raising taxes on the highest earners, the Government can do practical things like requiring large, publicly listed companies to report the gap between their highest paid and lowest paid staff. That way CEOs will have to justify their own huge pay rises to their staff and the public.
“CEOs don’t make businesses successful all by themselves. If they’re getting double-digit pay rises because their business is doing well, then the people working for them deserve double-digit pay rises too.
“It hasn’t always been this bad, but the difference between CEO and worker pay has been growing for decades under successive governments. Shining a light on this growing gap can help build pressure to close it,” said Ms Roche.
*The most recent Labour Cost Index shows that 43 percent of working people did not get a wage or salary increase from March 2015 to March 2016 (Table 6.2).