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NZ needs a reasoned debate on wages

NZ needs a reasoned debate on wages

The debate on what is a suitable level of minimum wage, or indeed living wage, is a complex one where the needs of small as well as large businesses need to be taken into account says the Motel Association of New Zealand (MANZ).

While a minimum wage is necessary to ensure all kiwis have a decent standard of living, we should be examining carefully how that wage is determined, and who it applies to MANZ Chief Executive Michael Baines says.

“Many small business owners would be lucky to get the minimum wage themselves if calculated on an hourly basis,” Mr Baines says.

“For many small businesses such as motels, cost growth is faster than revenue growth across the board in the current environment. For many motel-owners it’s a simple equation, if wage rates are forced upwards then they cut the hours staff work, and take on more themselves,” Mr Baines says.

“We simply can’t assume that will work for a large corporate will work for a small business with one or two employees.”

New Zealand needs to look at creative solution to the issue, rather than simply taking money from employers to hand it to workers, which may end up harming the small businesses on which the country’s economy relies.


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