David Clark is Labour’s spokesman on Revenue. He said on his blog yesterday:
My bill to raise the minimum wage to $15/hr was narrowly defeated. But I’m determined to keep up the fight for a fairer distribution of our country’s wealth.
David Clark is rated as an up and coming Labour MP. On live chat on Thursday Duncan Garner rated him:
And David Shearer said in a party announcement on Wednesday:
This is a tremendous opportunity for David Clark. As an Eisenhower fellow he will get access to heavyweight thinkers and decision makers, and will make important contacts that will last a lifetime.
In his first year as an MP, David has already marked himself out as one to watch.
In Clark’s weekly Red Alert post, By The Numbers:
1.50 - the dollar amount National and its coalition partners couldn’t see fit to give to our lowest paid workers as they voted down my member’s Bill.
That’s not just talking about giving workers Government (our) money. It’s also forcing many businesses to increase their costs, to redistribute not ‘wealth’ but scarce resources in very difficult economic times.
Clark is spokesman on Revenue, that’as the Ministry that collects taxes off us.
Finance is the ministry that chooses where to spend and give that money. Labour’s Finance spokesman is David Parker, who has had a close association with David Clark. In a recent speech Parker spoke about fairness too:
We need a breakthrough in our economy.
History shows that the fair distribution of the rewards of work is necessary for a fair and prosperous society.
This is why the UN Declaration of Human Rights gives prominence to freedom of association – the right of workers to join unions so they can better negotiate their share through collective bargaining.
A fair share for workers, higher wages and higher productivity go together.
So it looks like there is a strong emphasis within Labour on “the fair distribution of the rewards of work”.
That means taking more money off some people (employers and higher earners) and giving more money to other people.
And it means forcing businesses to increase their Labour costs whether it makes business sense or not. And if it doesn’t make sense they’ll employ less people. Or close their business.
Increasing the minimum wage substantially more than the current rates that increase with inflation was a major focus of David Clark’s and Labour’s election campaign in 2011.
And Clark has vowed to do the same next election in an interview on Channel 9:
Dunedin Labour MP David Clark has vowed to take his campaign for an increased minimum wage to voters at the next election.
That follows the close defeat last night of his Private Members Bill to raise the wage from $13.50 to $15 an hour.
While Dr Clark says the increase would have had no effect on employment, his claims are not supported by a local employer’s association.
(More details in linked video)
And Labour has other policies designed to redistribute money, including Paid Parental Leave and David Shearer’s own plan to feed children at school – Education (Food in Schools) Amendment Bill.
This is just how the Labour Party and it’s MPs are leaning.
If Labour form a coalition with the Green Party that would put a greater emphasis on redistribution of money. Metiria Turei is currently promoting giving Working For Families payments to beneficiaries.
And if the Mana Party is also needed to get Labour’s numbers that will further push the redistribution, especially if Sue Bradford and John Minto become crucual votes.