Labour Minister Simon Bridges announced the minimum wage will increase from $13.75 an hour to $14.25.
. . The Starting-Out and training minimum wages will increase from $11 an hour to $11.40 an hour, which is 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.
“Setting these wage rates represents a careful balance between protecting low paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost,” says Mr Bridges.
“The increase announced today balances the needs of both businesses and workers and will have minimal impact on the wider labour market and inflationary pressures.
“This increase will keep the minimum wage at around 50 per cent of the average hourly rate, which is the highest rate in the OECD.
“The Government is firmly focussed on growing the economy and boosting incomes. Through our Business Growth Agenda we are creating opportunities to help grow more jobs in New Zealand, for New Zealanders.” . . .
That nearly half those surveyed think that’s not enough goes to show most people don’t understand the issues.
The only sustainable way to increase wages is by economic growth.
Without an increase in productivity and profit, an increase in wage rates will result in a decrease in job numbers.
The Greens would have immediately raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said today. . .
Why stop there?
“Around 125,000 kids live in families where the adults earn less than the living wage. It is in the government’s hands to end poverty for working families and improve the lives of those kids. . .
Those families get Welfare for Families through which those with two children pay no net tax until they earn $50,000. Any increase in their pay will reduce their welfare. That’s less money from public coffers but they’ll be no better off and could be worse off if jobs are lost.
That living wage is an arbitrary figure and last week’s increase in it was based on different methodology from the original figure:
The ‘new’ living wage has shifted the goalposts and appears to be more about politics than public policy, says BusinessNZ.
Last year the living wage campaign said $18.40 should be the living wage, calculated on the basis of the living costs of a family of four.
The promoters now say the living wage for this year should be updated to the higher rate of $18.80.
“But the report shifts the goalposts,” BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said.
“The increase from $18.40 to $18.80 is not based on the same methodology as last year.
“Using the same methodology, for the same family of four, would show the new living wage should really be $22.89.
“If last year’s formula said $18.40 was needed for a living wage, and the same calculations now show $22.89 is required, why isn’t the campaign seeking $22.89 an hour?” Mr O’Reilly asked.
“Either the original calculations were flawed, or the campaign is just picking numbers out of thin air.”
Mr O’Reilly said decision makers could not have confidence that the living wage figures were soundly based.
“This switch in the figures used is important for taxpayers and ratepayers who are being asked to pay for the campaign. Wellington ratepayers are now funding the living wage policy for council employees and taxpayers would be funding it for all government employees under Labour Party policy.
“There can be no confidence in a living wage proposal set on an arbitrarily changing basis.”
The whole concept of a living wage which decrees everyone should be paid enough to support a family of four, regardless of what the work they do is worth, is flawed.
For the record, all our staff are paid more than the minimum wage.
That’s a decision we make in negotiation with them taking into account their skills and experience, what they’re required to do, the value of all of that and what the business can afford.