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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

"A Needed Wage" Differs with the Work

"A Needed Wage" Differs with the Work.

It has been well said that as we raise the character of the work we have to deal with a class of workers whose social efficiency demands continual progress in the development of his mental and moral and, it may be, his physical powers necessity of this development imposes more needs upon the worker and social utility demands that these needs should be supplied with a higher needs wage—or in other words a higher grade worker should have a higher rate of pay than a low grade worker because his needs, reasonably considered, are greater. In New Zealand the difficulty of fixing a needs wage is enhanced by the difference in cost of living in different industrial districts but the settlement of these differences could be left to the Court. A perfectly adjusted living wage should look beyond the worker himself to his burdens and responsibilities, and on this basis married workers with a wife and young family dependent on them should received a needs wage sufficient to maintain in decency himself, his wife and young children—especially since in rearing and bringing up a family such a worker-discharging one of the highest duties of citizenship. It is estimated that there are 96.000 married workers in New Zealand in all grades and classes of employment.