National’s economic plan a cruel blow for those on low incomes

The Green Party says National’s economic plan would devastate those earning the least, and further entrench poverty across our communities.

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today:

“National’s disdain for those doing it the hardest is clearer than ever in their mean-spirited and short-sighted economic plan.

“COVID-19 has impacted all of us, but we know that those with the least are bearing much of the blow.

“Their plan to block minimum wage increases is particularly cruel. We all deserve to be paid fairly for our work, and earn enough to live dignified lives. Clearly, National doesn’t agree and wants those with the least, to have even less.

“Their plan means children going without healthy food, a safe home, and the basics of a good life.

“It’s also disturbing to see their plans to halt the progression of Fair Pay Agreements, which create mutually agreed minimum employment standards across entire sectors.

“These agreements allow for industry leaders to problem solve the challenges facing their sector, in partnership with the people actually doing the work. We need more collaboration like this to get us through the challenges ahead, not less.

“National wants people earning the least to shoulder the COVID-19 blow. Their lack of regard for peoples’ wellbeing is on-brand for them – this is the party which wants to scrap lunchbreaks too.

“This plan would simply widen the gap between those with the most, and those with the least, pushing people deeper into poverty.

“In Aotearoa, we have more than enough for everyone to live dignified lives. The Greens have a plan to create a fairer country for all of us.

“National’s proving once again that it does not care about working people, by doubling down on its standard approach of pushing people into poverty.”

The Green Party would:

  • Progress Fair Pay Agreement legislation, and prioritise the essential workers who supported our communities during COVID-19.
  • Guarantee annual minimum wage increases, and abolish the “youth wage” starting out rate.
  • Extend the living wage beyond the core public sector, including to contractors.
  • Replace opt-in union membership with opt-out, so people automatically join a union when they start a new job.
  • Introduce ten days of employer-funded sick leave, with unlimited top-ups through a reformed ACC.
  • Improve redundancy processes and provide a minimum of one month full pay for people made redundant.

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