Increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour will ensure hard-working kiwi families can put healthy food on the table says the sponsor of a members' bill designed to achieve this, Labour's David Clark.
"Making the minimum wage $15 an hour will be a big help to about 264,000 workers and their families. Currently the minimum wage is just $13.50 - well below Australia's minimum which equates to NZ$19.92. I thought John Key wanted to close the wage gap with Australia."
"Boosting wages for the lowest paid will give New Zealander's a fair wage for an honest days work. And it will encourage more young people to stay in the country, rather than join Generation Oz on the other side of the Tasman. Forty per cent of the 158,000 kiwis who left for Australia in the last four years were aged 18 - 30."
"A minimum wage of $15 an hour will mean extra earnings of $427 million a year for our lowest paid workers. Most of that money will be spent on essentials - food, clothing and healthcare - and will go straight back into the economy."
"National's current low-wage economy is neither economically or socially responsible. Preventable, poverty related illnesses cost taxpayers millions of dollars through the health system."
"National's policies may be good for the wealthiest New Zealanders, but many hard-working families spend more than half of their income putting a healthy meal on the table. That is before they've paid for rent, power and school uniforms."
"The proposed change will not affect most employers. And smart employers who already pay a living wage will be better off, as it will stop less scrupulous firms undercutting them."
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