Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. has blasted a study, released by the Bloomberg administration, which states that the “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act—a bill that would require developers that receive heavy taxpayer subsidies to pay their employees a “living wage”—would harm the city’s economy.
“We have known all along exactly what this report would say, so I am not surprised,” said Borough President Diaz, who noted when the study was commissioned that it would likely be skewed against the bill. “Not only did the City choose a company that is hostile to the idea of a ‘living wage’ to conduct this study, but the mayor has made it crystal clear for months that he does not support this bill. The mayor wasted $1 million of taxpayer funds on this study, simply to provide trumped-up evidence for their pre-determined conclusions on the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act.”
Borough President Diaz noted that there is a host of evidence contradicting the City’s report, and added that a “living wage”—currently defined as a modest $10-an-hour plus benefits—would lessen the financial burden on taxpayers by lowering dependence on government programs such as welfare and food stamps.
“The ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act is sound economic policy, and fiscal conservatives should support a ‘living wage’ because it lowers dependence on the anti-poverty programs they so often vilify. If mega-corporations do not want to pay a ‘living wage,’ then the answer is simple: do not beg for a taxpayer handout. As I have said in the past, if you want charity, you must be charitable,” said Borough President Diaz.
The “Fair Wages for New Yorkers” Act, which was introduced into the City Council at the behest of Borough President Diaz, would require developers that receive heavy taxpayer subsidies to pay their employees a “living wage.” The bill, which was introduced by Council Members Annabel Palma and G. Oliver Koppell on behalf of the borough president, currently has 30 City Council co-sponsors. A City Council hearing on the bill will held on Thursday.
“I look forward to testifying in favor of this bill and leading the citywide charge for fair development and good salaries. ‘Living wage’ is the right thing to do, and it is time to get it done,” said Borough President Diaz.