INDEPENDENT NEWS

Minimum Wage Increase May Cost Jobs, Bradford

Published: Tue 21 Dec 1999 08:55 AM
The Government's decision to increase the minimum wage may have an impact on the number of jobs being offered to New Zealanders, National's spokesman on Labour Max Bradford warned today.
"At least the economy at present is in a robust enough state, thanks to the policies of the last Government, to absorb this increase. Nevertheless, it would be foolish to pretend there will not be fewer jobs as a result of this decision.
"I am pleased that the Government has been wise enough to leave the youth rate alone, as scrapping that would have seen an 80 percent increase in the hourly cost of employing young New Zealanders, which would have had a disastrous effect on youth employment.
"The Alliance's desire to get rid of the youth rate shows how little they care for young workers. They were happy to support a measure that would have seen too many young kiwis out of work.
"Time will tell what effect this minimum increase will have on employment rates, but if the economy starts to deteriorate once ACC changes and repeal of the Employment Contracts Act are passed, the Government may regret this decision," Mr Bradford said.
ENDS

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