Wgtn Anglican bishop will base his income on living wage

Wellington’s Anglican Bishop Justin Duckworth has pledged that he will base his own income on a newly calculated living wage of $19.25 an hour.

But this is complicated as he lives in church-provided accommodation, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The new living wage level, calculated by the Anglican Family Centre, increased from $18.80 an hour last year in line with average wage increases.

It is defined by its supporters as “the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life”.

Bishop Duckworth said his diocese was committed to paying the living wage in all “diocesan entities” by later this year.

But Anglican schools, aged care homes and social services such as the Wellington City Mission are not bound by the policy because they are independent entities.

“The City Mission are wrestling with this issue as well. Most of the diocese [is] wrestling with this issue,” Bishop Duckworth told the Herald.

“I, like every high income earner, needs to reflect on their own personal commitment to supporting the living wage in their organisation, and therefore the appropriate policy that they might have in relation to their wage,” he said.

About one-third of all Kiwi workers earned below the living wage rate, said research leader Rev. Charles Waldegrave of the Anglican Family Centre in Lower Hutt.

Rev. Waldegrave said it would be unrealistic to raise the legal minimum wage to $19.25 an hour, but he said the living wage was meant as a voluntary “aspirational” target.

The adult minimum wage in New Zealand will increase from $14.25 an hour to $14.75 an hour from April 1, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse announced on February 25.


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