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Bridges: “Minimum wage increase must be deferred”

Opposition leader and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges.

Opposition leader and Tauranga MP Simon Bridges is calling on the Government to defer the minimum wage increase set to come in to force tomorrow.

“With the entire country under lockdown, businesses up and down the country are already facing huge financial struggles.

“Going ahead with the minimum wage increase during this crisis is irresponsible."

He says increasing the minimum wage will add substantial costs at a time where almost every industry in New Zealand is feeling the pain of the coronavirus outbreak.

He believes the additional cost will hit them hard.

“We are urging the Government to defer the increase for six months while we reassess its affordability during this unprecedented economic situation.

“The Government’s argument that increasing the minimum wage will stimulate the economy is flawed. It is counterproductive to try and stimulate the economy while the vast majority of businesses are closed and people are stuck in their homes.

“The absolute focus right now should be to keep businesses in business and New Zealanders in jobs. Increasing the minimum wage makes both of these priorities more difficult."

Simon says it would make more sense to defer the increase and reassess it in six months’ time.

The minimum wage has increased 12 per cent since 2017, and the April 1, 2020, increase would take it to a 20 per cent increase in three years.

“Everyone wants to see higher incomes, but governments need to be responsive to the realities on the ground.

"Many businesses are struggling to stay afloat and keep employing workers right now. Adding more costs is not the solution.”

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5 Comments
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Too Right

Posted on 31-03-2020 13:31 | By BVG

Perhaps the Covid-19 crisis might demonstrate the issue to this current "welfare" government, enough to realize that if they keep giving money away at the expense of NZ business health - there will be less taxes to receive and eventually nothing to give away anyway..... Basic economics. Eg,- Nobody is ever going to be offered a job by someone who is on welfare...

Agree

Posted on 31-03-2020 12:59 | By clingon

Well said Simon. If the rise in minimum wage rates is the tipping factor of a business staying afloat or going under, especially in this lockdown, many kiwis would rather have a job at existing rates than have no job when we go back to work. Defer the increase for 6 months and let’s see what the new normal is...

Minimum wage increase

Posted on 31-03-2020 12:11 | By

Simon Bridges is absolutely correct in his call for a deferment of the minimum wage increase at a time when most businesses have no income. With people’s expenditure choices being curtailed (no cafes/restaurants, sports etc people will not be disadvantaged by this action

Thanks for nothing

Posted on 31-03-2020 10:57 | By red

This wage increase surely affects the people who are working on the frontline right now, risking their health for minimum wage. Simon doesn’t think you deserve it! Remember that when this eventually ends! #outwithsimonbridges #cutsatthetop

It is

Posted on 31-03-2020 10:19 | By Merlin

It is the same old same old.Knock the beneficiaries or the low paid.