Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Real progress by any measure

The government is increasing the minimum wage again, to $9.50 / hour. When it came into office in December 1999, the minimum wage stood at $7 / hour - so the poorest workers have seen a 35% pay rise in five years. That's real progress by any measure.

Under National, of course, this would be "gone by lunchtime".

Labour is also raising the Student Loan repayment threshhold, from $16,172 to $16,588 - substantially less than the income from a full-time, minimum-wage position. Which says something about how much "private benefit" the government thinks people get out of tertiary education. If they really believed the ideas the student loan scheme was predicated on, they'd raise that thresshold to at least the median full-time wage. But I guess then they'd see even less of their money back...