Teens living at home don’t need living wage, argues Mark Richardson

The AM Show 04/09/2018

The AM Show co-host Mark Richardson isn’t convinced everyone should get a living wage, particularly teenagers who live at home.  

Richardson’s comments came after it was announced that Wellington City Council became the first fully accredited living wage council.  

Richardson told The AM Show on Tuesday "hairy-ass teenagers" living at home don't need to be paid the living wage.

The living wage rate is voluntary and for 2018 has been calculated to be $20.55 per hour, which is $4.05 more than the minimum wage set by the Government. Launched in 2012, the campaign has had 110 employers become accredited.

"They don't need it. It's not a fair wage," Richardson said of teens living at home.
But co-host Nadine Higgins countered that a young person supporting their family indeed needs it.

"There needs to be flexibility and employers need to know who they are employing," Richardson reploed, suggesting employers pay staff based on their personal circumstances.

Duncan Garner said he doesn't pay his nanny the living wage, but pays her "close to it".

Paying employers the living wage "just raises the standard in the industry," says Wellington Council head of operations Will Phillips, telling Newshub on Monday it allows employers to attract the best talent.

"There are economic benefits - sometimes you need to think outside the box," said Wellington Mayor Justin Lester. "If you pay more, you get better people."

New Zealand's minimum wage has been upped to $16.50, with plans to raise it to $20 by 2021. But by that time, the living wage might have increased anyway. 

Watch the full commentary above.

The AM Show with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson, weekdays 6-9am on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.