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Alliance Welcomes Minimum Wage Increase

The $22 a week increase in the minimum wage announced today is being welcomed by the Alliance.

Alliance leader and deputy prime minister Jim Anderton says the increase in the adult minimum wage to $7.55 an hour is a direct result of the swift formation of a new government.

'The Alliance campaigned during the election for an immediate increase in the minimum wage and today's announcement represents the fulfilment of our policy commitment.

'If National and Act had won the election the minimum wage would not have been increased, and Act may well have won its policy to abolish the minimum wage altogether.

'The minimum wage in New Zealand remains well-below the relative levels of most developed countries. In Europe, the minimum wage is generally two thirds of the average wage, which would be around $10 an hour in New Zealand.

'About 12,000 very low income New Zealanders will be directly better off because a new government was put in place quickly and is co-operating well. The increase will flow on into increases in wages for other low-income earners.

'They are likely to spend their higher incomes in New Zealand businesses, which will create more jobs and better profits,' Jim Anderton said. Visit http://www.alliance.org.nz for more information about the Alliance


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