Sunday, January 24, 2016
I was listening to news reports that Auckland is going to be short of workers in 'essential' industries, because those workers can no longer live near their place of work. Such workers are living quite some distances from their place of work, but up until recently they have somehow managed to carry on, albeit in a 'hand to mouth ' sort of fashion. These would include cleaners, security workers and even nurses and teachers at the other end of the scale.I suggest that this has been going on for quite some time. One hears of many teachers who have given up on the dream of ever owning a home in Auckland, but now this phenomenon has included the renting option as well. They are heading to the provinces where 'modest' incomes can support a far better lifestyle. Imagine what the situation is like for those on lower incomes, or people on 'fixed incomes,' the elderly and those on 'benefits.' On the same news reports, I heard it suggested that the 'market will adjust to this new situation,' and respond accordingly. Really?! Do people who believe that this could happen now support the concept of a 'living wage?' I very much doubt it. I have no faith that the 'market' will increase wages and salaries to the point that the occupational groups so affected will see a boost in their income. Has there ever been a time where such 'readjustments' have happened? I accept in times of 'labour shortages' that there have been small movements in wages and salaries, but never on the scale that is needed now. We are going to see more and more people moving from Auckland, to be replaced by increased immigration, from people who are seeking new beginnings, who would work for less, in order to improve their positions, but expect Auckland to become increasingly 'different' to the rest of NZ. This 'change' is going to accelerate' as NZ faces ever more pressure to accept people who have been displaced by wars and other global phenomenon. The 'market' is going to respond to these new pressures, but not quite in the manner that is necessarily going to make Auckland a better place---for all! How many of you, reading this, are wondering when YOU are going to make the jump---out of Auckland? Are housing, transport costs and other living expenses associated with living in Auckland going to push you over the edge?