Govt: $18.40 minimum wage would cost 26,000 jobs   27 Feb 2013

The Government says a minimum wage of $18.40 would cost 26,000 jobs.

During question time Prime Minister John Key was asked about the new minimum wage of $13.75 and calls for a living wage of $18.40 in Parliament today.

He had to leave Parliament without answering, but tasked labour affairs minister Simon Bridges with responding on his behalf.

Mr Bridges would not say if the new minimum wage of $13.75 was enough for families to live on.

He said there was a range of packages available for people on low wages and New Zealand's minimum wage was one of the highest in the developed world.

Labour's spokeswoman on labour issues Darien Fenton asked why, if $13.75 was sufficient, two out of five children living in poverty came from families in work.

Mr Bridges said having a job was better than not having one.

"We are very conscious, unlike the other party, which does not seem to understand economic fundamentals, that the higher we raise the minimum wage, the more people are put out of jobs - 7000 under your policy," Mr Bridges replied.

Mr Bridges yesterday announced a 25 cents increase to the minimum wage. Labour has called for $15 an hour and the Maori Party $16.

Mr Key had previously rejected a movement to introduce a voluntary living wage of $18.40 an hour. On his behalf, Mr Bridges said that would cost 26,000 jobs.

He said such an increase was simplistic for two reasons - "because the Family Centre's living wage of $18.40 an hour is calculated on the basis of a two-adult, two-child family, whereas a lot of low-income earners are in different circumstance.

"The second reason is that it assumes that paying much higher wages is costless, when it is not - it costs jobs."

Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell said income inequality had widened in 30 years and increasing the minimum wage would be a significant step in reversing that trend.

- APNZ

By Kate Shuttleworth

Source NZ Herald

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Teachers support $359m initiative

22 Aug 2014 News
Education Minister Hekia Parata has today welcomed an agreement with the union representing around 18,000 secondary school teachers... more

New military pilot training aircraft arrive in NZ

22 Aug 2014 News
Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says the arrival of the first two new Air Force T-6C pilot training aircraft is an important... more

Business

UPDATE: Tower's minimum solvency reduced as claims progress

22 Aug 2014 Business News By Suze Metherell
Tower's minimum solvency reduced as Canterbury claims progress Aug. 22 (BusinessDesk) - Tower's minimum solvency margin has been ... more

Airways sees 27% gain in 2015 profit, misses 2014 target

20 Aug 2014 Business News
By Tina Morrison Aug. 20 (BusinessDesk) - Airways Corp. of New Zealand expects to boost profit 27 percent this year, after missing... more

Living

INXS Kicks in the TV Ratings, Tops the NZ Album Charts

22 Aug 2014 Entertainment
Mediaworks MEDIA RELEASEFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday 22 August, 2014 INXS Kicks in the TV Ratings, Tops the NZ Album ... more

The Rock’s Bryce Casey to Bowl 55-Hours Non-Stop

22 Aug 2014 Lifestyle
The Rock’s Bryce Casey to Bowl 55-Hours Non-Stop for Cure Kids Red Nose Day Appeal It’s been 10 years since The... more

Property

House sales down as winter cools market - REINZ

14 Aug 2014 Property
New Zealand house sales fell in July as winter cooled the appetite of house hunters while a drop in properties selling for $400,000... more

NZ property values rise at slowest annual pace in 13 months

7 Aug 2014 Property By Paul McBeth
Aug. 7 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand property values rose at the slowest annual pace in 13 months in July as rising interest rates,... more

Migration

Who's living next door to you?

20 Aug 2014 Migration
Statistics NZ puts out detailed data on different ethnic groups, down to the 108 people from the Isle of Man. Did you know there are... more

NZ population growth speeds up

14 Aug 2014 Migration
New Zealand's climb to 4.5 million people has been faster in the past year than it has in any other year in the past decade,... more

Travel

Auckland 10th most liveable city - again

19 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism
Auckland has again been ranked the tenth most liveable city in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released its... more

Air NZ Dreamliner to be put on show

15 Aug 2014 Travel & Tourism
An Air New Zealand Dreamliner is to be put on show at a famous air show next week. The Boeing 787-9 aircraft will be exhibited to... more

Sport

Draw has put All Blacks on edge - McCaw

22 Aug 2014 Rugby
Richie McCaw has compared the build-up to tomorrow's Bledisloe Cup test to the one which came following the All Blacks' thrashing at... more

Haier Pulse Secures Silver Fern Jodi Brown

22 Aug 2014 Netball
The Haier Pulse has added Silver Fern Jodi Brown to the roster for the 2015 ANZ Championship, following her return from an extended ... more

Columns

Martin Doyle Cartoon: Doing Justice to the Election

19 Aug 2014 Opinion
Opinion - Martin Doyle   Martin Doyle Cartoon: Doing Justice to the Election Given the dirty politics that have been exposed in... more

Gordon Campbell on no more Mr Nice Guy

19 Aug 2014 Column
Column - Gordon Campbell   Gordon Campbell on no more Mr Nice Guy by Gordon Campbell When future historians seek to identify... more

Kiwi Success

The duo behind NZ's hottest new label

20 Aug 2014 People
We're expecting big things from Harman Grubisa, the new label from Auckland-based friends Madeleine Harman (right) and Jessica... more

Victoria announces new strategic appointments

11 Aug 2014 Appointments
Victoria University of Wellington has announced the appointment of New Zealand’s first Provost, Professor Neil... more

Recruitment

High dollar, hands-off Govt sends workers to dole queue

22 Aug 2014 Recruitment
The loss of up to 100 jobs at Croxley stationery in Auckland is devastating news for their families and the local Avondale... more

On track to surplus, more jobs, higher incomes

19 Aug 2014 Recruitment
New Zealand is on track to Budget surplus this year, backed by good growth, more jobs and higher incomes under the ... more