Wednesday, December 19, 2018


When Labour became the government, they promised (as part of their confidence and supply agreement with the Greens) to raise the minimum wage to $20 an hour by April 2021. And they're delivering:

More than 200,000 people will benefit from an extra $48 a week next year in the biggest boost to the minimum wage in its history.

The minimum wage rate will rise from $16.50 an hour to $17.70, taking effect on April 1 next year, Workplace Relations Minister Iain Lees-Galloway and NZ First employment relations spokesman Clayton Mitchell announced today.

"For a fulltime worker, this will mean an extra $48 a week before tax – enough to make a real difference for working people," Lees-Galloway said.

"The increase will benefit approximately 209,200 workers and their families, lifting wages throughout the economy by $231 million per year and making a big difference for families.

It's a great step, which will make a huge difference to a lot of people. But Lees-Galloway also laid out his expected increases over the next few years, to give employers certainty: $18.90 an hour in 2020, and $20 an hour in 2021. Which means that they will have delivered a 27% increase to the living standards of the working poor by the end of their term. Now that's what I call progress.