Release: Minimum wage a cut for those who need it most

The Government’s decision to make a tiny two per cent increase to minimum wage is simply not enough to help low wage families across the country. Families are set to struggle to cope with increasing costs of living, says Labour spokesperson for Workplace Relations and Safety Camilla Belich.

“This pathetic increase is beyond disappointing. As the price of goods and services continue to climb, the Coalition Government has chosen to turn a blind eye to our most vulnerable income-earners by not increasing minimum wage to a level in line with inflation,” Camilla Belich said.

“We understand official advice recommend an increase of four per cent, yet the Government has cruelly opted to go against this – resulting in a real wage cut for minimum income earners.

“In likely another effort to save face and give tax cuts to the wealthy, Brooke Van Velden is playing politics with the minimum wage and those paying for it will be our lowest paid families. Rises to the minimum wage so that it’s at least in line with inflation is essential. This drop in the bucket increase will only make it harder on New Zealanders who are struggling to put food on the table.

“A Labour Government has long stood by increasing the minimum wage annually at a rate that is sustainable and considers rising costs and inflation.

“This is another backwards step for New Zealand under this Coalition Government,” Camilla Belich said.

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