“The Government’s decision to increase a minimum wage that is already the highest in the developed world shows a breath-taking disregard for small businesses and young, unskilled workers”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“New Zealand has the highest minimum wage in the OECD relative to the average wage.
“Labour has given up on raising wages through productivity growth, instead trying to legislate for higher living standards.
“Governments can’t force businesses to pay workers more than they are worth. By setting the minimum wage at a level that some workers cannot demand, Labour is guaranteeing that thousands of jobs will lost, because firms are less able to take on new staff or through automation.
“According to MBIE, the last two minimum wage hikes cost the economy 8000 jobs. This increase will do even more damage.
“A higher minimum wage will also raise the cost of living for consumers and disadvantage retailers by providing a Christmas gift to offshore online retailers.
“Jacinda Ardern’s government has banned offshore oil and gas exploration, turned away foreign investment through its Overseas Investment Act reforms, and will cut the size of the economy with the Zero Carbon Bill and freshwater reforms.
“Labour cannot expect to continue to pile new costs and red tape on businesses and expect the economy to keep growing.”