Coronavirus: Government Must Delay Minimum Wage Increase

Published: Thu 5 Mar 2020 10:18 AM
“The Government must delay the 1 April increase to the minimum wage in the face of deteriorating economic conditions”, according to ACT Leader David Seymour.
“It is typical of the Government that they are prepared to ease access to emergency benefits for people who lose their jobs, but have so far refused to ease pressure on businesses trying to keep people working.
“We are now facing the prospect of a recession. Many businesses will have declining revenues and won’t be able to sustain a 7 percent increase in labour costs. That’s before other costs like KiwiSaver are taken into account.
“There is no practical reason the Prime Minister can’t do it. This is a Government that puts Parliament into urgency to change foreign political donation laws in 24 hours. To change the minimum wage, it doesn’t even need to go to Parliament. The Prime Minister needs only to sign an Order in Council. It could be done this afternoon if she had the political will.
“MBIE already predicts 6,500 fewer jobs will be created as a result of the 1 April minimum wage increase. It also said things could be worse in difficult economic times.
“In its annual minimum wage review in February, MBIE told the Government that, in the case of ‘a worsening economic context, a lower increase…would need to be considered to mitigate against disemployment’.
“We now have that worsening economic context. Slowing economic growth, low business confidence, international trade tensions and now a global public health emergency.
“The Government has made it easier for workers affected by coronavirus to access benefits. It must now make it easier for businesses to create jobs and keep workers employed by delaying this year’s minimum wage increase.
“Tourism, forestry, hospitality and other sectors of the economy will be seriously hurt by the impact of coronavirus.
“Of course, if businesses are doing well, they can still raise wages. The question is whether businesses that can’t afford increase wages should be forced to by the Government.”

Next in New Zealand politics

David Clark resigns as Health Minister
By: New Zealand Government
Green Party Proposes Transformational Poverty Action Plan
By: Green Party
New protection for dolphins
By: New Zealand Government
Auckland water consent referred to Board of Inquiry
By: New Zealand Government
A New Firearms System Focused On Safety
By: New Zealand Government
Building a stronger health and disability system
By: New Zealand Government
Todd Muller Announces Caucus Reshuffle
By: New Zealand National Party
Winston Peters on EU travel: 'We're not going to compromise our country's health'
Infrastructure Investment To Create Jobs, Kick-start COVID Rebuild
By: New Zealand Government
Government Strengthens Managed Isolation System
By: New Zealand Government
ACT Announces List For 2020 General Election
By: ACT New Zealand
New Zealand To Host Virtual APEC In 2021
By: New Zealand Government
Clark’s Resignation Was Too Little, Too Late
By: New Zealand National Party
Taxpayer Victory! David Clark Resigns
By: New Zealand Taxpayers' Union
PM Jacinda Ardern on David Clark's resignation as Health Minister: 'It is one I agree with'
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media