'Living wage' to go up 40 cents to $20.20 an hour in July

The living wage will rise by 40 cents an hour from $19.80 to $20.20 on July 1.

Empty food banks and drops in emergency food grants affecting are affecting our most vulnerable – report. Source: Breakfast

A living wage of $20.20 is nearly $5 an hour more than the current minimum wage of $15.25 and campaigners say the new rate reflects the movement in the average wage. 

The 'living wage' will rise to $20.20 in July. Annie Newman from the Living Wage Movement tells Breakfast why it is needed. Source: Breakfast

The living wage is defined as the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life and enable workers to live with dignity and participate as active citizens in society.

Living Wage national convenor Annie Newman says 64 employers have now adopted the living wage.

She says there has been an increase of one third in the number of businesses becoming accredited as living wage employers in the past year  as the living wage is increasingly accepted as the acceptable standard for workers' wages. 

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has proposed implementing the living wage for more than 2000 Auckland Council employees at a cost of almost $10 million, following in the steps of Wellington City Council which has adopted it.

Porirua, Hutt City, greater Wellington regional, Christchurch and Whanganui councils are all said to be interested in paying the living wage.