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It is time to raise the minimum wage.

It is time to raise the minimum wage.

The Kiwi Party
Press Release
October 3, 2008

The Leader of the Kiwi Party, Larry Baldock, renewed their party's urgant call for raising the adult minimum wage to $15.00 per hour.

"The new figures released by Treasury show only a slight decrease in the wage gap between Australia and NZ. This is dissapointing since our economy has been enjoying strong growth over the past nine years.

"News also out today is that four public service bosses have joined a select band of Kiwis earning more than half a million dollars. I suspect that most of the improvement in the wage gap between Australia has been as a result of the Government paying its employees about $7 - $9 an hour more than the private sector," said Mr Baldock.

"What is obvious is that the difference between the lower paid jobs in Australia compared with NZ is vast. That is why the Kiwi Party's policy to raise the minimum wage to $15.00 would be the best way to make significant progress in reducing the wage gap between the two countries," he said.

Mr Baldock’s suggestion to Government would be to offer a tax credit to employers which will offset the extra cost, thereby making the policy fiscally neutral to business. The increased wage will then be inflation adjusted.

“Over time this policy change will cause a flow on effect on all incomes which will help further reduce the wage differences between New Zealand and Australia.” he said.

“Another advantage of a higher minimum wage is that it protects the migrant or unskilled worker from abuse and will encourage those on benefits to seek employment.

“The Kiwi Party’s policy is to uphold New Zealand’s tradition of all workers rights. We want to see the people of this nation being paid a fair wage. This is a huge step towards creating a stable living environment for all Kiwis” he said.


ENDS

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