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Employers Are Not The Enemy

“Labour must stop seeing employers as the enemy and avoid doing further harm to the productive sector,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“The Government was told its latest minimum wage hike will have a ‘disproportionately large’ negative impact on the number of jobs created over the coming year.

“As a small business owner myself, I know how difficult it has been for SMEs to deal with the virus, the lockdown and a recession. Employers can’t afford one the highest minimum wages in the world, five extra days of sick leave, a new public holiday, and ‘fair pay’ agreements.

“No business I know of can increase its productivity by 6 percent year after year. As a result, annual increases to the minimum wage inevitably mean fewer hours being offered to staff or higher prices for consumers.

“Labour Minister Michael Wood was told to increase the minimum wage by a smaller margin and introduce it later, but he chose to ignore that advice.

MBIE advised that hiking the minimum wage during a recession has ‘significant negative effects on the employment’ of the workers it is meant to help.

“The end result is that 9,000 more New Zealanders will end up on welfare at a time when we’re already forecast to lose 84,300 jobs over the next year.

“There are few, if any, small business owners inside the Cabinet. As a result, Labour is completely out of touch with how the productive economy works, and New Zealanders are paying the price.”

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