The minimum wage should be at least $15 per hour (as Labour MP David Clark’s bill proposed). A living wage is estimated at $18.40 per hour. So what have the Nats done? Raised the minimum wage by $0.25 per hour to $13.75. It’s a derisory increase. Even their own supporters think so, with the Maori Party calling it “pitiful”.
The justification usual justification for pathetic increases in the minimum wage is that significant increases will “cost jobs” – it’s being trotted out this time round too of course. Obviously there is some level at which that would occur, but reasonable increases are beneficial to the economy, not damaging. We’ve covered this before at The Standard (lots and lots and lots), but if you don’t believe us, perhaps you’ll believe Treasury:
Raising minimum wage won’t cost jobs – Treasury
“[On job losses...] This has not been true in the past. The balance of probabilities is that a higher minimum wage does not cost jobs.”
There can be only one effect of NZ wages falling further and further behind what is livable, and what is available outside NZ. Here’s Herald cartoonist Body’s summary…