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Minimum wage increase no relief for many Kiwis

The minimum wage increase announced today will be cold comfort to thousands of New Zealanders struggling to pay their rent or mortgage, says Labour’s Workplace Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway.

“Fifty cents an hour simply is not enough to keep up with the enormous increases in housing costs that many New Zealanders currently face. A 3.3 per cent increase in wages is nothing when rents went up by 5.8 per cent last year and house prices rose by 12.5 per cent.

“The truth is that far too many New Zealanders are on the minimum wage and therefore utterly reliant on the Government to increase their income.

“National has repeatedly stripped away working people’s rights to bargain for decent wages and has failed to make New Zealand economy more productive.

“That’s why wages are so low in New Zealand and why nearly 200,000 working people are at the mercy of the Government setting their wages for them.

“Labour is committed to building a strong, resilient and productive economy and overhauling workplace relations in New Zealand so that all working people get a decent day’s pay for a decent day’s work,” says Iain Lees-Galloway.