Minimum Wage Raised

February 10, 2009 New Zealand Finance  No comments

The New Zealand minimum wage has been raised from $12 to $12.50.

The Government has announced that as of the 1st of April 2009, the new minimum wage will rise from $12 to $12.50. The youth training and new entrant wage will also rise from $9.60 to $10. This equates to a 4.16 % rise in the minimum wage rate and the same in the new entrant wage. This percentage increase is above last year’s annual inflation rate of 3.4%.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was given three recommendations as to the minimum wage, leave it as is, raise it to $12.50 or finally raise it to $12.65. Mr. Key said the problem with the decision as to balance of the benefits to the lowest paid in the country and the possibility of too large a change impacting negatively on the number of employed.

Labour Party Leader Phil Goff has said that he wants the minimum wage to rise to $13 per hour, as according to him the new wages will only amount to an extra 9cents per hour post inflation. Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has said that in her opinion the minimum wage should be $15 an hour and that the first $25,000 of earnings should not be taxed.