Rev Waldegrave has waved his wand and come up with a new living wage of $18.80 an hour. This means that David Cunliffe, Len Brown and Celia Wade-Brown must all implement this new wage because they have promised to ensure all government staff in their sector get paid whatever Waldegrave says they should get paid.
The stupidity of their pledges is highlighted by what Waldegrave has done. You see he has not done a full recalculation of the Living Wage. He has just increased it by 2.1% because that is how much market wages have gone up. But that is a bastardisation of his own process, as his living wage calcualtion is meant to be based on how much you need to spend – not how much other wages have gone up.
So why has Rev Waldegrave done this? What would be the living wage if he had just recalculated it based on the latest data using the methodology he used to calculate the original living wage? Well it would be a staggering $22.89 an hour. They obviously realised that figure would get them laughed out of town, so they decided to pick another figure out of thin air.
So the true living wage figure is now $22.89 an hour. Waldegrave has gone for a more acceptable figure because this is about politics, not any form of impartial calculation.
So my question to David Cunliffe, Len Brown and Celia Wade-Brown is which living wage figure are they promising to pay all government staff and contractors?
Is the $22.89 figure that it should be, based on the original living Wage methodology they signed up for. Or is it the $18.80 figure, which means that they don’t care about what the actual living age is – they will just insist all staff be paid whatever figure Rev Waldegrave determines is correct every year?
Go read the report. It makes very clear that the formula they used for the living wage last year, would produce a living wage of $22.89 if applied this year. They’be basically dumped that formula because it is so ridiculous. But that is the formula Cunliffe, Brown and Wade-brown signed up to.
So the left are effectively saying it should be illegal for a 16 year old school leave, living at home, who works in the government sector to be paid less than $46,000 a year.