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Living Wage Increase

Post Date: 22 Aug 17       Category

Article courtesy of reporter Ashleigh Collis from the Horowhenua Chronicle

Two Horowhenua College students refuse to sit back and let poverty statistics increase.

Danielle de Burgh and Chloe Yates are trying to influence a policy change to raise the minimum wage by encouraging the public to sign an open letter to Otaki MP Nathan Guy and Labour leader Jacinda Ahern.

The Year 13 students set up a stall at Te Takere on Tuesday and plan for another next Thursday.

The idea was triggered by a social studies project requiring studnets to influence a policy, and the pair chose to tackle the issue around the minimum wage being $4.55 lower than the calculated living wage of $20.20.  "We have both grown hugely passionate about this topical issue which is affecting many people in our own community", said Danielle.  "The living wage in 2017 has been calculated to be $20.20.  It reflects the basic expenses of workers and their families such as food, transportation, housing and childcare.  The increase from the current minimum wage of $15.75 to $20.20 will enable workers to live with dignity and to participate as active citizens in society."  She said the $4.55 difference between what is and what should be was a huge contributing factor to the rising poverty statistics in New Zealand.  "On average 295,000 Kiwi kids are living in low income households and 55 per cent of children are in households where their main source of income is from a benefit," she said.  "As two concerned New Zealands citizens, we are not prepared to sit back and watch these statistics increase any more than they have done in the past.  "These people are being denied the ability to sustain a healthy and prosperous life."

Danielle and Chloe will be at Te Takere on August 17 from 11.30am to 1.30pm for anyone who wishes to sign the letter.