Sunday, June 20, 2021
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HomePoliticalMigrants Aren’t Responsible For NZ’s Low Wage Economy

Migrants Aren’t Responsible For NZ’s Low Wage Economy

Auckland Action Against Poverty stands in solidarity with
migrant communities as they’re blamed by the Labour
government for suppressing wages in Aotearoa New

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
blamed New Zealand’s reliance on a temporary workforce as
a lever that suppresses wages in this country. Migrant
workers should not be scapegoated, when the real levers of
our low wage economy rests on the fact that benefits are
below the poverty line, and there have been decades of
attacks on pay and conditions.

“This has nothing to
do with migrants. One of the reasons Aotearoa New Zealand
has a low wage economy is because benefits are so low, and
provide no competition for low wages. If they were raised,
businesses would have to pay people better for their time
and labour,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty
coordinator Brooke Pao Stanley.

“The government
continues to scapegoat our communities for problems they
caused. Jacinda’s comments are reckless and irresponsible
and add to racist rhetoric that can keep us divided. This
same rhetoric was responsible for the Dawn Raids when
Pacific communities were blamed for rising unemployment back
in the 1970s.

“We support the call for better
pathways to residency and equal access to our welfare system
for our migrant whānau, who bring so much diversity and
vibrancy to our communities.

“We also call for
Liveable Incomes so that Aotearoa New Zealand can shift from
a low wage economy to one that honours people for their time
and commitment to the work they’re in. All work should be
recognised by the government as being integral to the
economy, and both wages and income support should reflect

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