The Living Wage campaign has been getting a few headlines, which equates to it copping some flak from right-wing bloggers. DPF's take on it is that it's unfair for the media to assist the Living Wage campaign by highlighting how tough some families have it, because those families are supported by the social welfare system as well as by their wages. The argument is that these people aren't suffering deprivation due to NZ's low wages, because the taxpayer comes to their assistance via the family tax credit, state housing etc.
Which is severely fucked up when you think about it:
1. The fact that people on low wages only have enough to live on courtesy of the social welfare system highlights our low-wage status far better than the exodus to Australia ever could.
2. Support for people on low wages via the social welfare system constitutes a taxpayer subsidy to low-wage employers like cleaning companies. The reason taxpayers are topping up workers' wages is basically so that they won't find unemployment benefit more attractive than the shit pay they're getting and stop working.
3. That subsidy helps reduce upward pressure on wages, ie it has the adverse economic effects subsidies tend to have. I know right-wingers tend to look on low wages for the working class as a Good Thing, but if you don't see the benefit of upwards pressure on wages over the last 150 years you want your head read.
Support the Living Wage campaign and help us reach the point where we can end these damaging subsidies.
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