by Jenn Lawless
The Government has just announced today that the minimum wage will be rising to $17.70 an hour on 1 April 2019 – an increase of $1.20 per hour, with further increases indicated up to $20 an hour in 2021.
“The historic increase to the minimum wage from the 1st of April next year will in real terms mean shoes on the feet and bread on the tables of the people in New Zealand who have really been doing it tough,” Wagstaff said.
“Often it is people with young families, high rents, transport costs and extremely long hours, particularly women, who are scraping by on the bare minimum. Most people in New Zealand are appalled at the development of the ‘working poor’ – those who are doing everything to keep afloat, but the minimum wage has simply been too low to sustain a dignified life in the face of rising costs.”
“We can’t keep simply watching in horror every holiday season when families are working shifts, but living in cars and on food parcels. The Government has made the only right move by these working people to lay out a clear plan that lifts minimum wages, as set out in the coalition agreement between the Labour Party and New Zealand First.”