Confirmation that the Government’s unbalanced minimum wage rise could cost 17,000 jobs and lump taxpayers with a $125
million bill is an alarm bell for small businesses, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Todd McClay
MBIE’s recently-released Minimum Wage Review 2019 reveals the Labour-led Government’s proposed change to $18.90 per hour
on April 1 will cost the economy 6500 jobs and increase Government expenses by $62m a year, as well as drive up
Moving to a $20 an hour minimum wage by 2021, which the Government is proposing, could cost the economy 17,000 jobs and
increase expenses by $125m a year.
“The minimum wage changes will see small businesses struggle more at a time when the Government should be supporting
them, not working against them,” Mr McClay says.
“The Government is making it harder for small businesses to employ people, harder for them to invest in training and
development, and harder for them to get ahead.
“These projections could prove to be much larger if our economy continues to slow and the labour market weakens, as it
has already under the Labour-led Government.
“Everyone wants high wages for workers, which is why National increased the minimum wage every year in Government. But
we believe the minimum wage should go up in a balanced way that doesn’t go too far, too fast.
“Hard-working Kiwis are already doing it tough because of the Labour-led Government’s poor policies, which are driving
up the price of petrol, rent and other living costs.
“The best way to put more money in workers’ pockets is to let them keep more of what they earn. What good is raising the
minimum wage if workers are being taxed to the eyeballs?”