The biggest private sector union in Aotearoa New Zealand, E tū, is concerned by the Prime Minister’s announcement today that the New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme (NZIIS) will be delayed indefinitely.
The announcement was part of the new Prime Minister’s policy reprioritisation, stating that the policy will not be considered again this term, nor until the economy improves significantly.
E tū Assistant National Secretary, Annie Newman, says the union is disappointed in this development.
“This is not good news for New Zealand’s workers,” Annie says.
“The New Zealand Income Insurance Scheme should be a policy priority as we face a possible recession and other huge changes in the job market.
“The Prime Minister has told Aotearoa that he’s squarely focused on the cost of living for Kiwis. NZIIS should be a key part of that plan, as job losses are often devastating for family budgets.
“Many other countries have highly successful unemployment insurance schemes as part of their welfare systems. New Zealand is behind the 8-ball here.”
However, the union is pleased that the minimum wage will be increased to keep up with inflation.
“Many of our members are on or near the minimum wage, and $1.50 per hour is a significant increase for them. It will take some of the sting out of the rising costs across the economy.
“Increasing the minimum wage by anything less than inflation would have seen minimum wage workers effectively have their pay cut in real terms. While this is an adequate increase, we do know that workers really need the Living Wage if they are to live a decent life.”
For more information and comment:
Annie Newman – 027 204 6340