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Minimum Wage Rise Is Short Term Fix

Media Statement

For Immediate Release

January 31, 2002

Minimum Wage Rise Is Short Term Fix, Not Long Term Solution

The Government’s decision to raise the minimum wage gets a tick for the extra cash for the small number on the minimum wage, EMA Central says.

However, it fails to send the right signals to encourage those individuals to invest the time and effort to upgrade their skills and hence their employment value and prospects.

EMA Central chief executive Paul Winter says it also prices some more jobs out of the market in favour of more investment in plant and equipment or marginal business being abandoned.

“New Zealand needs better policies that can still look after the well-being of low paid people but provide better incentives to develop marketable skills.

“As more people develop greater skills they can migrate to better paying jobs so that a shortage of low-skilled labour is what encourages new investment in plant, NOT Government artificially raising the minimum price of labour,” Mr Winter says.


For further information contact Paul Winter, CEO, EMA Central, 04 473 7224.

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