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Record inflation shows Government must act to ensure working people stay afloat

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The country’s largest union is recommending urgent action from the Government to improve working people’s pay, to counter the worsening impacts of record inflation on our communities.

"Today’s CPI figures prove what our members have told us for months: the everyday costs of living are increasing faster than they have in decades, and working people are getting to the point where they just can’t keep up", says PSA Te PÅ«kenga Here Tikanga Mahi National Secretary Kerry Davies.

"The pandemic response has seen significant wealth transfer into the hands of the already wealthy, while ordinary working people have seen their wages starting to skydive in real terms. It’s plain wrong that while so many business owners have made record profits through the pandemic, they haven’t passed their gains on to the people who have worked hard for them to make those profits possible.

"So many folk were already struggling to make ends meet at the start of the pandemic. People and their families are being pushed to their limits.

"There are some key actions the Government can begin to take right now to address this issue. One is introducing Fair Pay Agreements, to give workers a chance to agree fairer pay in their industries. Another is ensuring that the publicly funded community services have pay equity and that labour hire workers have pay parity with staff who are employed directly to do the same job.

"This is also a time for the Government to sit up and acknowledge that public sector pay needs to improve. It would be one thing if workers’ pay really was standing still - but in real terms it’s going backwards. The Government needs to make sure that in upcoming collective bargaining all public sector and funded community sector workers have pay increases that mean they can keep up with increasing costs.

"People who rely on income support are finding things especially tough. We need to see the Government follow through on the additional changes recommended by the Welfare Expert Advisory Group.

"In a situation where we already had a massive housing crisis, and so many of our whānau in poverty, the pressure on families right now is immense. They need to see a light at the end of the tunnel."

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