While welcoming an increase in the minimum wage by 50 cents an hour, Mike Treen of Unite Union says that this new level only maintains its value at about 50% of the average wage.
“This level was reached in 2008 and we need to be more ambitious as a society. We believe the goal should be $20 or two-thirds of the average wage
“The current consumer price index is almost meaningless when it come to what people have to spend in this country to live. After rent and power have been paid there is barely enough left for food and other necessities.
“There are widespread and unacceptable levels of poverty in this country and inequality is getting out of control. One way to address those issues in a meaningful way is to progressively increase the minimum wage in real terms.”