29 Jul 2010

No wage catch-up with Australia seen by ACT

8:59 am on 29 July 2010

ACT says New Zealand will not close the income gap with Australia by 2025.

New figures provided by the Government show the wage gap has increased by $NZ23 per week to $NZ160 p/w since National took office in November 2008.

Last year the Government set up a taskforce - initiated by the ACT Party - to recommend ways to improve productivity in order to close the income gap with Australia by 2025.

ACT says it is unsurprising the wage gap has increased.

Finance spokesperson Sir Roger Douglas says the former Labour Government's policies did nothing to stimulate growth and National's are simply more of the same.

He says he does not believe New Zealand can catch up with Australia by 2025.

Sir Roger says the policies that are needed include improving skills, increasing capital formation, improving technology and cutting red tape.

However, Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee says the reality is Australia did not experience recession, and New Zealand has.

Prime Minister John Key claims the wage gap has closed from a high of $NZ187 per week in 2005 under Labour to $NZ160 p/w.

The 2025 Taskforce is due to release its second report in October.


Labour describes the Government's figures as "massaged" and say the actual increase is more than $50 p/w.

The Green Party says New Zealand should not judge itself on such a simplistic measure.