Minimum wage increase too little too late

A miniscule rise in the minimum wage of just $18 a week in take-home pay will barely cover rent rises and shows how little the Government cares about growing inequality in New Zealand, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says.

“In the last 12 months the average rent in New Zealand rose by $14 a week, $24 a week in Auckland, showing what a drop in the bucket today’s increase is. Labour first called for a $15 minimum hourly rate seven years ago – today we are just 25 cents above that.

“New Zealand was once an egalitarian society but we are creating a generation of working poor, Kiwis who hold down fulltime work yet can’t put food on the table for their families or afford a warm, dry house.

“At the same time we have corporate salaries in the millions of dollars and we are lagging behind Australia’s minimum wage which is more than $3.50 per hour above the New Zealand rate.

“Today’s announcement is too little, too late and will not alleviate the difficulties so many Kiwi workers are facing. Labour believes in a decent pay for a good day’s work, one that allows workers to support their families, and help them achieve the Kiwi dream,” Andrew Little says.