Whoops – Council spends half a million more by accident

July 4th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Ambitious plans for Hamilton to lead councils nationally in rolling out an $18.40 per hour minimum “” are in doubt after official estimates of its cost nearly quadrupled.

The council voted in May to introduce a living wage over two years, from this year, on the strength of a February estimate it would cost $168,000 to lift pay rates for 80 permanent council staff now paid between the minimum and living wages.

But management now say the resolution covers 144 staff, and a revised estimate shows the cost will be at least $643,000.

Maybe the Councillors could cut their own pay, to cover the cost? Why should ratepayers have to fund their mistake?

Managers have also warned that the policy could become a can of worms, with Living Wage campaigners promising to review the wage amount annually.

Scenarios costed for city councillors show that a $1 increase to the living wage rate by July 1 next year would lift the two-year cost to $959,000.

So the Council has agreed to automatically lift their wages to whatever level some two person outfit in Lower Hutt determines is the living wage? If they say it is now $25 an hour, they’ll just pay everyone that and send ratepayers the bill?

Management have recommended that council give itself the right to refuse further increases to the living wage rate unless it first considers the impact.

Which implies the Council has just voted to write a blank cheque every year, based on what this self-appointed group determine should be the “living” wage.

Tags: ,

23 Responses to “Whoops – Council spends half a million more by accident”

  1. tas (602 comments) says:

    The supporters of this policy forget that the council doesn’t have a magic source of wealth. This policy is taking money out of the pockets of ratepayers, many of whom are worse-off than the council employees who benefit.

    In general, those who support raising the minimum wage forget that the money has to come from somewhere. They treat wages as a free source of wealth.

    Vote: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    It’s madness to leave economic matters in the hands of incompetents like these (il)liberal clowns.

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. Redbaiter (8,211 comments) says:

    The “living wage” concept is fed into the political discussion by communists. They are the root of this idea, and one only has to read a few of the fliers promoting Communist Party strategy to know this.

    It always amazes me to see core Communist party ideas being freely discussed in and in this instance passed by such groups as the Hamilton City Council. This is an example of a whole city dancing to the tune of basic communist ideology and not one media outlet politician or council member addresses this extremely important point.

    How do the people pushing this stuff get to do it so easily, and why is there so little challenge to their strategies? Just completely amazing.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. BeaB (2,101 comments) says:

    This is beyond ridiculous, especially as this morning we learned we are still up for $100,000s from on-going costs of the disastrous V8s.

    These guys are so stupid I cannot believe anyone will re-elect any of them. They seem to have no idea of thrift, stewardship or fiscal responsibility. They don’t even base their decisions on accurate costings.

    As for the Living Wage. Spare me. Teach your kids to work hard, stay at school and get some qualifications. Then they might not have to clean toilets. Although even menial work is far better than expecting your neighbours to support you.

    Vote: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Manolo (13,517 comments) says:

    Can someone publish the full names of the council members who voted for this stupid idea? Who are they?

    Vote: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. davidp (3,566 comments) says:

    So someone receiving the minimum wage working in, say, McDonalds will have their rates increased to pay council workers more than the minimum wage. Doesn’t this push the McDonalds workers further in to poverty? How can this be fair?

    Vote: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. greenjacket (446 comments) says:

    It is yet another example of a failing council. Auckland can’t get its act together, Hamilton appears to be run by nutcases, Horizons mixes ineptitude and arrogance, Wellington is run by the hapless Celia Wade-Brown and a bunch of idiot councillors, Canterbury was so useless the government had to sack them, Christchurch council in the end had to have its basic job stripped from it it is so incapable…. The list goes on and on.

    The bottom line is that NZ lacks the talented people, both elected to council and as managers, to be in so many councils for a population of 4 million.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Redbaiter (8,211 comments) says:

    Manolo-

    According to the article, the scheme is being pushed by one “Don MacPherson”.

    Trevor Louden has got him picked.

    http://www.trevorloudon.com/2006/07/p-r-a-t-t-number-2-dave-macpherson/

    A communist.

    A remark from MacPherson himself- “I’ve been called Comrade Macpherson and councillors who have supported me on a number of issues have been called the gang of four.”

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. berend (1,690 comments) says:

    Why is it that all our councils are run by raving leftie lunatics? What’s wrong with the voters?

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. gump (1,600 comments) says:

    The Council made their decision based on a costing estimate that was wrong.

    Which means they made a good decision based on bad advice.

    I’m sympathetic to the Council members. It isn’t their fault that they were provided with dodgy costings.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 13 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. labrator (1,882 comments) says:

    … with Living Wage campaigners promising to review the wage amount annually.

    Just like the poverty line is constantly moving. The only way to satisfy these people is to reduce the top amount people earn down to what they deem fair. These fancy names like “living wage” are just obfuscations to their end goal.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Redbaiter (8,211 comments) says:

    “Why is it that all our councils are run by raving leftie lunatics?”

    It is Communist Party policy/ strategy to quietly slip believers into local government.

    People ridicule the idea of communists influencing policy. They do not think they are well enough organised to achieve this kind of thing, but it really doesn’t take any organisation as such.

    They are all taught this when young by Marxists in universities and other such places, so it does not need any structured plan. They all just think the same, and they go out on their mission and get there strategies into the mainstream. and the man in the street is too uninformed by an appallingly corrupt media who should be telling them where (in this case) MacPherson comes from and what is driving him.

    They don’t though, they just give him cover, and we can only find out what MacPherson really is by searching out information on the web.

    (Thanks to Trevor Loudon who does a great job exposing these slippery slimy sneaking commies for who and what they really are.)

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. s.russell (1,587 comments) says:

    Roll on October 12. The people will judge.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. tas (602 comments) says:

    berend (1,434) Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 10:37 am
    Why is it that all our councils are run by raving leftie lunatics?

    My hypothesis: right-leaning and centrist people usually have better things to do with their time than serve on the council. I think it’s the same reason student politics is dominated by the left: Right-leaning people are too busy actually learning.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. orewa1 (428 comments) says:

    “Maybe the Councillors could cut their own pay to cover the cost? Why should ratepayers have to fund their mistake?”

    Hell, NO! On the contrary the Councillors will want their remeneration increased to restore relativity. Ditto everyone in the Council chain between the minimum wage and top of the tree. That’s the unfortunate perverse outcome.

    That said, I do think successive governments, listening to the ritual pleas of poverty from business organisations, have been far too stingy with the minimum wage over the years. Many, many businesses (McDonalds included) can well afford more. In a civilised country a minimum wage should enable an individual to survive above the poverty line without state support – otherwise the whole ethic around work and self sufficiency is jeopardised.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. cubit (356 comments) says:

    But the total amount neededwill not be restricted to lifting all to a minimum of $18.40 an hour even though they now think they have the total right. What about the council workers who are currently on $18.40 an hour that recognises their additional skills or responsibilities. They will have to have their pay rates increased to recognise their additional skills and responsibilities. Has that been costed out or will they just be ignored?

    Hell, it may just have to flow on right to the top to preserve relativities. The CEO may even need a boost. However, the councillors will not take anything extra, will they?

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Redbaiter (8,211 comments) says:

    “Roll on October 12. The people will judge.”

    I will be amazed if you can locate one newspaper article that identifies MacPherson as a communist and tells the community where he is really coming from politically.

    Democracy is only effective if the voters are informed.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. flipper (3,903 comments) says:

    So, in terms of the law, the HDC “living wage” decision is a direction to its Chief Executive.

    Under the law, the HDC does not employ a single being – other than the CEO. All other persons are employed by and responsible to the CEO.

    This is just one consequence of the crackpot Loc Govt system put in place by Helengrad et al… albeit, it must be said, at the behest of those Loc Gov bastards.

    Kill off the bloody lot. Appoint (sorry, elect) Regional Commissioners, (say five or six for whole country) and hold them, personally responsible. Anything less and the wheels will continue to spin – aka Ch Ch, Hamilton, Kaipara etc.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Viking2 (11,332 comments) says:

    berend (1,434) Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 10:37 am

    Why is it that all our councils are run by raving leftie lunatics? What’s wrong with the voters?
    —————————–

    simple answer.
    Most voters are anybody eligible by where they live. So, they vote for those that give them all the nice to haves.

    whereas the people paying are the ratepayers. A somewhat different group who actually have to fund the nice to haves. All ratepayers should have two votes and non ratepayers no votes. ( a ratepayer is the person who pays the rates. Not a tenant nor any other form of life.)

    Until that’s fixed this will continue.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. The Scorned (719 comments) says:

    Red: How do the people pushing this stuff get to do it so easily, and why is there so little challenge to their strategies? Just completely amazing.

    It is the ingrained “morality” of Altruism that is responsible…the centuries long, guilt imposed way of thinking and feeling you are under an obligation ( why?..by what standard? ) to sacrifice yourself and what you value to your fellow man BECAUSE he happens to be other than you.

    Ayn Rand nailed this poison decades ago….but it still flows through the veins of our society from the twin sources of Religion and Socialism.

    If we are to eliminate the symptoms such as this living wage nonsense we must tackle the root cause underlying it….flawed and anti Human “morality”.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. MT_Tinman (3,089 comments) says:

    I’ve just waded through a heap of utter bullshit in order to understand what this “living wage” is and how it is determined.

    Early in the piece I came across “In New Zealand the poverty threshold is generally accepted to be 60 percent of median household income1″

    Actually, no, it’s not!

    In fact there is no “generally accepted” poverty threshold in NZ – although certain self-interest groups may have one.

    My question therefore is; How can HDC set a “living wage” if there is no calculation available to create one?

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. anonymouse (709 comments) says:

    UPDATE: It just died a fiery death in Hamilton

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/8878710/Council-balks-at-living-wage-cost

    “An ambitious proposal to introduce a “living wage” of $18.40 per hour over two years was today voted down 6-5 as councillors baulked at its costs.”

    Hamilton council are rapidly showing they couldn’t organise a pi$$ up in a brewery, as their Homoeopathic solution to fluoridation is about to get taken to a referendum also

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Viking2 (11,332 comments) says:

    gump (703) Says:
    July 4th, 2013 at 10:39 am

    The Council made their decision based on a costing estimate that was wrong.

    Which means they made a good decision based on bad advice.

    I’m sympathetic to the Council members. It isn’t their fault that they were provided with dodgy costings.
    ——————————

    Why would you be?

    Lack of analysis and penetrating questioning.
    That’s a directors job. To boot the CEO’s arse over stuff so he makes sure tis right.
    Trouble is the councillors just become box tickers for the CEO’s,just like all the directors that are either going to jail, should go to jail or have wriggled out from under.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.