1 Feb 2015

Military wages lag inflation, labour market

7:51 am on 1 February 2015

Figures released by the Ministry of Defence show the wages of military personnel are not increasing at anywhere near the rate of inflation.

Nor are they keeping up with the rest of the labour market.

Defence Force soldiers in Afghanistan's Bamyan province in 2013.

Defence Force soldiers in Afghanistan's Bamyan province in 2013. Photo: NZ DEFENCE FORCE

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee said between 2009 and 2014, the general wages of Defence staff increased 7.5 percent.

Statistics New Zealand said from March 2009 to September 2014, national average salary and wage rates rose nearly 10 percent.

Inflation during the same period was more than 11 percent.

Mr Brownlee said he was satisfied defence pay levels were adequate and that New Zealand's military had a high level of morale and retention.

"I'm pretty satisfied that we've got things about right there but, of course, everyone always wants to have an increase."

Labour's defence spokesperson Phil Goff said the figures show the Government has disadvantaged its military employees.

He said Defence Force members are not allowed to join a union, negotiate wages or take industrial action to improve their incomes and they are not being given a fair go.

He said the only option for defence personnel if they are not being treated fairly is to quit their jobs.

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