“Papers presented to Cabinet by Workplace Relations Minister Michael Wood showed he tried to inflict even more pain on Kiwi businesses, with a much higher proposed minimum wage increase,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

The Cabinet Paper shows Wood wanted a minimum wage of $21.40, his second option was $21.25, and in the end he only got $21.20. Presumably his colleagues could see how ludicrous his proposal was and shot it down.

“This shows the Minister’s fundamental lack of understanding of how small business works, as MBIE’s advice stated “With the recent lockdowns and continuing economic pressures on businesses, there is a risk that the additional wage costs may result in employers increasing prices, reducing workers’ hours, their staffing levels, or, for some vulnerable businesses, ceasing trade.”

“Inflation is at a 31-year high and Kiwis are being squeezed from every direction – at the checkout, at the petrol pump, and when they pay the rent.

“The Reserve Bank has printed – and Labour has borrowed and spent – tens of billions of dollars in the past two years. That money is moving around the economy and pushing up the price of everything.

“The only adequate response is a return to rational economics.”

ACT would:

• Get borrowing and wasteful spending under control

• Change the Reserve Bank legislation back to focusing on inflation only

• Provide tax relief, cutting the 30 per cent tax rate to 17.5 per cent, giving the average worker an extra $2,000

• Stop hitting businesses and productive people with new rules and taxes