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Goff's Living Wage comment 'a big worry for Auckland ratepayers'

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

On last week’s Back Benches television show when asked whether Auckland Council should introduce a Living Wage, Phil Goff’s response of "yeah everybody’s got to have a Living Wage - by definition" may have drawn crowd applause in a Wellington pub, but many suburban Auckland ratepayers should be worried," says Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer.

"Labour’s Phil Goff has long pushed the Living Wage idea, but as a mayoral candidate he’s promised to be financially responsible and business-friendly. A Living Wage at Auckland Council was proven to be neither and hence why it was dropped."

In December 2013, a majority of councillors supported Cameron Brewer’s amendment to effectively kick Mayor Len Brown’s Living Wage proposal off the table which has never formally been raised again.

"The Left gave this a really good run three years ago but in the end lost. At the time the council’s own Business Advisory Panel, many Auckland business leaders and owners, as well as ratepayers were genuinely really concerned about its possible introduction and the consequences.

"The $3.75m cost to introduce it back then would’ve only been the start. Wage inflation would be triggered throughout the whole organisation and contractor costs would increase. At the same time other Auckland organisations and businesses would be forced to compete with council on wages. Back in 2013 there was also a real concern that such a policy would end up costing jobs not creating new ones, and such concerns remain.

"Mr Goff needs to study council’s revenue to debt ratio and the debate last week when the 2016/17 Annual Plan was signed off, as well as listen to ratepayer feedback on what most think of council’s escalating wage and salary bill which is nearing $1 billion per annum.

"He’s trying to promote himself as an independent mayoral candidate but the reality is if elected Phil Goff will pick up exactly where Len Brown left off - that is pushing a left-wing agenda which Auckland ratepayers will be expected to fund," says Mr Brewer.

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