“The case for delaying the April 1 increase to the minimum wage is now so loud and clear surely even this Government can see sense and save even more businesses from going under,” says ACT Small Business and Workplace Relations spokesperson Chris Baillie.
“ACT warned the Government about this when Auckland yo-yoed back into a level 3 lockdown.
“Now a special edition of the Retail Radar report shows almost 40 per cent of retailers fear for their survival of the next 12 months.
“This Government must stop ignoring mentally and financially exhausted businesspeople and cut them some slack.
“They can’t handle the cost of raising the minimum wage from $18.90 to $20 on top of a looming $1 billion cost of increasing sick leave.
“The people that employ New Zealanders are being bled dry.
“Borrowing billions to implement these policies is mad if the impact is businesses closing their doors.
“This is a perfect example of why one of the five principles of ACT’s COVID Response Plan 2.0 is assessing the overall wellbeing of the community when responding to the virus.
“Health driven policies responding to COVID are killing business and the Government is continuing with its wage increase policies as if nothing is happening.
“The minimum wage increase must be delayed until New Zealand emerges from this deepening financial crisis.”