Living Wage offers hope for families to thrive
The Anglican Church’s Social Justice Commissioner, the Ven Dr Anthony Dancer, welcomes the announcement today of a Living Wage rate, and the launch of the movement in Aotearoa.
“Having long been involved in the development of the Living Wage Aotearoa movement, we recognize the need for a living wage as part of a community grassroots strategy to address income inequality and child poverty and give families a chance to thrive, not just survive.”
The announcement of the $18.40 Living Wage rate is timely, coming so soon after the Salvation Army’s State of the Nation report. That report indicated that little had been done to reduce inequality and reduce this country’s high levels of poverty.
“We need this new approach to addressing such issues. An approach that is led by communities and businesses with less reliance upon Governments who so frequently fail to deliver, and focus upon minimums for survival. We need an approach to wages like this that is agreed to by all sorts of people and groups for the common social good. As such it is and will increasingly become something that offers strength and hope to families and communities” says Dr Dancer.
According to the Chair of the Social Justice Commission, Peter Bargh, “We need to stop focusing on minimums and start focusing upon life and its living – only then will we create an environment in which people are valued and can thrive. A Living Wage contributes to this environment. Support for the Living Wage can be seen across the Church with groups and individuals supporting the movement at the flaxroots.”
Action is being taken at all levels of the Church. Anglican churches throughout New Zealand are seeing the sense in the Living Wage movement and moving to declare themselves living wage employers. The Rev. Brian Dawson, vicar of St Peter’s on Willis Anglican Church in Wellington, is one who sees the need for churches like his own to take a stand and commit to paying a Living Wage to their staff.