Wellington’s Anglican bishop said in Auckland yesterday that he may cut his salary to help fund a “living wage” for cleaners, caregivers and other low-paid workers in Anglican churches and social agencies.
The NZ Herald reports that Bishop Justin Duckworth is challenging other high-income earners to take less to fund higher wages for the 39 per cent of workers who earn less than the living wage, defined by union and church groups as $18.40 an hour.
His current salary is about $63,000, or $30 an hour, plus a house.
“My personal response is in the future I have to look at what I am earning and say, what is appropriate for me to earn given that many people in our society don’t even have enough to participate meaningfully in our society,” he said at a conference on social justice. “I would ask that everyone else should be engaged in the moral conversation of when is too much too much.”
The bishop said he and his wife Jenny were also considering how to make best use of the bishop’s official home across the road from Parliament when they move there later this year from the community for recovering addicts and others where they have lived for the past 10 years. “We have always lived with people. We will do that again,” he said.
He told the 600 people at the conference that they could not seek well-paid careers and work for social justice at the same time. “We have to tell our young people … how to live simply and to be happy with what you’ve got, realising that everyone else in society is screaming, ‘Have more, have more, have more!”‘