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The Finance Minister’s refusal to accept that a further substantial increase to the minimum wage will add costs to businesses shows Labour, the Greens and NZ First’s poor understanding of the realities of business, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“The reality is many businesses are struggling due to the impact of coronavirus and a substantial cost increase may push some of them over the edge.

“The priority right now should be saving jobs. It doesn’t make sense to heap additional costs on to businesses who are already struggling to keep employing workers right now.

“We aren’t proposing to cancel the increase, we are asking that in light of economic conditions, it is deferred for six months while we reassess its affordability during this fast-developing economic situation.

“The minimum wage has increased 12 per cent since 2017, and the 1 April 2020 increase would take it to a 20 per cent increase in two years.  

“Everyone wants to see higher incomes, but governments need to be responsive to the realities on the ground. 

“When National was in Government we took decisive action following the Canterbury earthquakes, the Kaikoura earthquake and the Global Financial Crisis.

“Only National has the track record and the capability to deliver when times are tough.”

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