$8.50 Minimum Wage Welcome, But Still Too Low
“Today’s announcement that the minimum wage will rise to $8.50 is good news,” said Paul Goulter, secretary of the Council of Trade Unions today.
“However it falls well short of the CTU submission to increase the minimum to $10.00, which is close to 50% of the average wage.”
The average wage is currently around $19.00 an hour.
“This Government has made a number of significant improvements in the minimum wage,” said Paul Goulter.
The improvements include:
lifting the youth rate from 60% of the adult rate to 80% introducing a trainee minimum rate reducing the age of application of the adult rate from 20 years to 18 years.
Paul Goulter said that, in contrast to National which froze the minimum wage for 3 years from 1997, this Government has increased the minimum wage each year.
“There is absolutely no evidence that these increases have harmed employment,” he said.
“In fact, employment has increased steadily alongside the increases in the minimum wage.
“The problem in New Zealand is that wages are too
low, not too high. “