25 Jan 2011

PM flags modest rise to minimum wage

5:34 pm on 25 January 2011

Prime Minister John Key has indicated a likely increase of about 2% to the minimum wage this year. It is currently $12.75.

The Cabinet usually considers the rise alongside the rate of inflation, which is running at about 4%.

However, Mr Key says the inflation increase caused by last year's rise in GST - about 2% - will not be taken into consideration, as that has already been off-set by tax cuts.

The Prime Minister warns that as well as increasing incomes, a rise in the minimum wage has other consequences, including job losses, so a balance has to be struck.

Mr Key says advice to the Government is that increasing the minimum wage to $15 would result in 6000 to 8000 people losing their jobs.