Minimum wage to go to $14.25 an hour

February 24th, 2014 at 4:26 pm by David Farrar

Simon Bridges has announced:

Labour Minister Simon Bridges today announced the adult is to rise to $14.25 an hour.

The current adult minimum wage rate is $13.75 an hour.

The Starting-Out and training minimum wages will increase from $11 an hour to $11.40 an hour, which is 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

“Setting these wage rates represents a careful balance between protecting low paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost,” says Mr Bridges.

“The increase announced today balances the needs of both businesses and workers and will have minimal impact on the wider labour market and inflationary pressures.

“This increase will keep the minimum wage at around 50 per cent of the average hourly rate, which is the highest rate in the OECD.

A lot of people do not realise how high our minimum wage is compared the average wage. And the linkage is important, because if the minimum wage gets too close to the average wage, then it can have huge distortionary effects on employment.

To use an example, a shift in the minimum wage from say 25% of the average wage to 35% may have little impact on employment. But a shift from 50% to 60% will definitely have an impact.

I actually think it would be sensible to formally link the minimum wage to the median wage, so the focus goes on lifting wages through productivity, which would them automatically assist those on the minimum wage.

The minimum wage will soon be $14.25 an hour, and if the same increase happened next year it would be $14.75 an hour. This means that Labour’s policy may be to simply hike it a further 25 cents. Sadly I guess this means they will now pluck another number out of the air, and say that this is the level the minimum wage must be at. They’re effectively saying all Government employees must get paid at least $22.89 an hour, so why not that for all employees!

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87 Responses to “Minimum wage to go to $14.25 an hour”

  1. KiwiGreg (3,176 comments) says:

    Laws against hiring people. Such smart people politicians.

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  2. Ryan Sproull (7,030 comments) says:

    Great news, and New Zealand’s place in the OECD in this respect should be a source of pride for Kiwis.

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  3. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    Just politicising in election year. It will be the last rise in many a year. Next three for sure.

    But….. jobs aren’t growing on trees as many on here would have us believe. The economy is on the rise and financial chiefs have just announced international economic relief. Probably cause the dollar is going to burst any time so the elites can say a lot of things before the the fan gets hit. Our leaders want to fill the country with migrants to broaden the tax base and as a result not that many Kiwi’s will receive this pay rise. Employers with conscience would hire Kiwi’s first.

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  4. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    What else would you expect from a Parliament with such little small business experience?

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  5. Kleva Kiwi (281 comments) says:

    Minimum wage should be binned all together. A flat tax rate for all introduced except tax free for the first $20k

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  6. alwyn (380 comments) says:

    Well Labour are, as usual, a bit slow out of the blocks but the short, plump co-leader of the watermelon party has alredy announced that they would immediately raise the minimum wage to $15/hour.
    No reason given. Just whatever National do we would do more is all the justification she seems to need.

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  7. wikiriwhis business (3,883 comments) says:

    ” A flat tax rate for all introduced except tax free for the first $20k”

    No western govt can get their head around no taxation.

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  8. Ryan Sproull (7,030 comments) says:

    What else would you expect from a Parliament with such little small business experience?

    Nick, what do you think of the idea of minimum wage in a business being keyed to other measurable KPIs of the business? Essentially a mechanic whereby small businesses can pay less than large established corporations must pay?

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  9. chris (565 comments) says:

    Is there still a youth rate component to the minimum wage? I wonder how my kids are ever going to get part time jobs to learn the value of work and get some experience when they’re old enough, with the minimum being so high. I started with a paper run at about 10 or 11 and had part time jobs from then until I finished University.

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  10. nickb (3,659 comments) says:

    The minimum wage will soon be $14.25 an hour, and if the same increase happened next year it would be $14.75 an hour. This means that Labour’s policy may be to simply hike it a further 25 cents.This means that Labour’s policy may be to simply hike it a further 25 cents. Sadly I guess this means they will now pluck another number out of the air, and say that this is the level the minimum wage must be at. They’re effectively saying all Government employees must get paid at least $22.89 an hour, so why not that for all employees!

    So National good, Labour bad because National is going to raise the minimum wage to almost the same level as Labour’s policy? How does that line of thinking work?

    Also loved John Key’s line about the increase costing “a relatively negligible” amount of jobs. WTF does that mean? 10? 100? 1,000? 10,000? What on earth is “relatively negligible”? Does it take into account small businesses which may be pushed over the edge due to raising wages for 5-6 of their employees? What about the effect on employers with workers earning $14-$15 now who agitate for a raise when they find out they’re earning the new minimum wage?

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  11. nasska (10,674 comments) says:

    The people in NZ employed on minimum wages complain endlessly but few realise just how well off they are. The brother of a mate of mine owns a supermarket (about the size of an average NZ New World) in Montana.

    His staff are paid $8/hr (US) then they pay tax & health insurance if they can afford it.

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  12. Manolo (13,369 comments) says:

    Labour Lite honours its well deserved moniker.

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    A lot of people do not realise how high our minimum wage is compared the average wage.

    More to the point, a lot of people do not realise how shit our median wage is.

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  14. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Whys our average wages so shit and our house prices so high eh?

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  15. rangitoto (193 comments) says:

    “Whys our average wages so shit and our house prices so high eh?”

    RMA

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  16. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    The Meaning of RMA
    RMA means “Return Merchandise Authorization”?

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  17. Scott (1,707 comments) says:

    Look I know you guys love National and think it’s great that National is in power and not Labour but seriously what is the difference between National & Labour? What right wing thing has National actually done? With the exception of a few charter schools National has essentially continued with the same policies of the previous Labour government. Working for families, free student loans, all the entitlements still intact. A little trimming of the tax rate but GST up to 15% never to go down. What difference do the so called right wingers actually make?
    And putting up the minimum wage? Well everybody knows when you put the price up people buy less of it. So less people will be employed. I know you fellows love National but Lord knows why?

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  18. tom hunter (4,414 comments) says:

    …. protecting low paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost, ….

    Because I'm lazy I'll ask whether anybody knows if the numbers of minimum wage workers are counted each year, or even estimated with a fair degree of accuracy that can be trusted? With such data we could have an actual debate about the impact of minimum wage increases on those jobs in the NZ context.

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  19. martinh (1,155 comments) says:

    Scott
    Labour goes on about the poor and use them for their own propaganda instead of actually making them get off their lazy arses.

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  20. Odakyu-sen (441 comments) says:

    “I know you fellows love National but Lord knows why?”

    Haven’t you heard: National is the new Labour! It’s the party for the middle ground; it’s the party for the working man; it’s the party for the businessman; it’s the party for the pensioners; it’s the party under which immigration has boomed…

    It’s the party of happy people!

    What’s not to like!

    //

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  21. tom hunter (4,414 comments) says:

    New Zealand’s place in the OECD in this respect should be a source of pride for Kiwis.

    Two economic rules-of-thumb apply here; making something more expensive reduces the demand for it, and increasing the cost of labour specifically means that capital will be the substitute. I’ve seen similar arguments from the Green-Labour people here with regard to their Capital Gains Tax – that capital investment will shift from property to “productive” items (meaning factories and machines I assume) – so it seems the principle and the objective are well understood.

    We reduce the number of lousy, minimum wage jobs and replace them with machines, demonstrating the creative destruction that is the beating heart of capitalism, which I must say I’m surprised to see supported by a Libertarian Socialist: thanks Ryan!

    Of course we’re assuming that the people concerned will be moving on to those higher-paid jobs that will also be created in NZ, right?

    They’re effectively saying all Government employees must get paid at least $22.89 an hour, so why not that for all employees!

    Indeed, and by conceding the basic economic argument you’re left with nothing but he-said-she-said, emotional stuff where Labour will promise a little bit more at one time and National will promise a little bit less in the next round of leapfrog.

    Still I can see National’s point when I observe the number of comments to date and the “0 0″ votes on those comments. Few care, so just do enough to keep the emotive aspect (“Tories hate poor people”) from boiling over in the media and helping the Labour-Green coalition.

    Aspirational.

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  22. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    The only reason our MW is so high a level of the average wage is of course that the average wage here is so low.

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  23. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    tom, only where jobs can be replaced do wage rates impact on staff levels. And even then many of the employers would choose to pay the increase in wages and pass on costs over investing more capital (issues over risk and use of funds as the return is left to later). Employers often resist resort to labour saving until there are problems finding staff.

    As far as I have read, the more the MW rises the lower the relativities to other workers (and there are apparently more and more workers on the MW – there was no movement in MW through the 90′s as a way to hold unemployment down).

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  24. freemark (448 comments) says:

    “I know you fellows love National but Lord knows why?”
    Maybe National is for people who actually walk the talk…run and supported by people who have been there/done that and not just swallowed the lines of their sociology tutors or cloth cap Union “organisers”. People who quietly get about the business of lifting the wealth and improving the outcomes for themselves & all NZers instead of bleating about how much they care and “what about the children” People who successfully have and could be doing many things outside politics but have a genuine desire to make this the most awesome nation in the world – as it is close to being. People who by experience have realised that there is far more to working and participating than the last $10 at the end of the week. People who can say it how it is without worrying about how PC it might sound. People who see others as they are (ie contribution to society) without turning race, gender, sexual orientation and historical actions into political constructs. People who are not ashamed of being pakeha, or male, or straight. People who are prepared to face the consequences of their actions, but would rather reap the rewards of their efforts. People who are aware of the failure of Socialism and the destruction it has wrought on the working class (and every class except the Political Elite) everywhere it has been attempted. Pretty easy really when you think about it.

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  25. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    That word aspirational is supposed to be define the middle class values whereby on the one hand they aspire to do better and on the other also provide a hand up to others seeking to join them (from the lower classes), this the meritocracy of equality of opportunity.

    There is however a less appealing flipside to this as Randolph Churchill noted back in the 19th C – in explaining why the Tories had nothing to fear from extension of the franchise to the working class. The middle class would then vote Tory and not alongside/with the working classes.

    Despite the WCC budget being nearly $400M pa, and the cost of placing 400 people onto the living wage is a mere $332,000 pa there is resentment at the cost of this from amongst the middle class. Talk about the impact on rates etc and the impact of the rise in rates on rent etc – all of one purpose to justify maintaining their pay relativity above the less deserving of the working class.

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  26. wiseowl (762 comments) says:

    There should be no minimum wage.
    It’s as simple as that.

    And just where does the living wage come in.?
    If the government is responsible for the minimum wage how can some left wing do gooder come up with a suggested ‘living wage’
    The Government should stop councils pursuing a ‘living wage’ made up of money which is stolen off ratepayers and tell councils that the minimum wage is at present the benchmark (and it shouldn’t be) and that they cannot impose the cost of a ‘living wage’ on ratepayers .
    Someone made a list of the taxes we pay in a recent post.Add to this cost the imposition of minimum wages on small businesses determined by some turkey who thinks we should pay for people to have a comfortable living for doing SFA.

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  27. Ryan Sproull (7,030 comments) says:

    We reduce the number of lousy, minimum wage jobs and replace them with machines, demonstrating the creative destruction that is the beating heart of capitalism, which I must say I’m surprised to see supported by a Libertarian Socialist: thanks Ryan!

    Replacing jobs with machines is the path to liberation from capitalism, Tom, but in this case, yes, assume that my statement was prefaced with the standard “obviously the capitalist framework for distribution of wealth is inherently unjust, but…” disclaimer.

    I certainly prefer minimum-wage increases to taxation and redistribution.

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  28. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    i wonder how far away we are from businesses automating a shit ton of jobs.

    its gonna be funny when it happens.

    headline 1 – NZ Govt raises min wage to $16.50

    two weeks later

    headline 2 – Fast food industry to shed 5000 jobs as new automation kicks in.

    at which point, it will be businesses fault. good ole business, a bottomless pit of caaasssshhhhhhhhhhh

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  29. adze (1,864 comments) says:

    SPC:
    “Despite the WCC budget being nearly $400M pa, and the cost of placing 400 people onto the living wage is a mere $332,000 pa there is resentment at the cost of this from amongst the middle class.”

    Yes, and one of the councillors behind the living wage campaign also refuses to pay a living wage to the staff in his own small business. Do you have any idea why he might have a different standard there?

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  30. adze (1,864 comments) says:

    dime:

    “i wonder how far away we are from businesses automating a shit ton of jobs.

    its gonna be funny when it happens.”

    This is actually a serious issue, and not something to be scoffed at. If we don’t solve the long term problem of technological unemployment we could face civil unrest, at best, and a total breakdown of social cohesion at worst. There are a number of proposed solutions ranging from the radical (a resource-based economy, which in some ways seems to be a pipe dream), to a universal basic income.

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  31. duggledog (1,358 comments) says:

    They’ve announced this 24 hours after their poll results suggest they could govern alone.

    No better time to go to the country?

    Hey Reid – you’ll love this:

    Annie Newman from the ‘Living wage Campaign’ was just on TV1 News, she can’t say her ‘r’s properly.

    So she’s saying ‘workers should be able to weap the wewards of the economy’ I laughed and thought of you

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  32. tom hunter (4,414 comments) says:

    I wonder how far away we are from businesses automating a shit ton of jobs.

    Not far. Not far at all.

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  33. Rightandleft (636 comments) says:

    So those on the left attack it because National can’t ever do anything good, and those on the right attack it as an anti-business. I for one think it’s another brilliant political move to further neutralise Labour and their living wage campaign. The last stats I saw were for 2011 but at that time NZ had the second highest minimum wage as a percentage of the median wage in the OECD at 59%. Only France, on 60%, was higher. Workers deserve a wage that makes it worthwhile to have a job rather than sit on the benefit. National is being sensible in delivering that without resorting to the potentially inflationary ‘living’ wage.

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  34. duggledog (1,358 comments) says:

    By the way wiki’s business – you’re worth what I pay you.

    ‘Twas ever thus.

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  35. wiseowl (762 comments) says:

    Left and right.
    Where are small businesses going to get the extra money to pay for the minimum wage increase??

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  36. BeeJay (69 comments) says:

    We employ quite a few staff, not many are on the minimum wage. We are in an industry that can’t pass it on without increasing tariffs, so productivity becomes much more of an issue. Of course, the 50c increase will get passed on to all our staff, because we want to keep them, because they are good staff, and good people! But how do we recover any of the increase if we can’t get improved productivity? Any ideas??

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  37. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    dime, automation occurs in all employment areas not just MW.

    Japan has more than most as they invested in robotics as a way to manage a decline in population.

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  38. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    BeeJay, if there is no answer to you, and there is no answer for your competitors, then higher costs can be passed on. Whether one could quantify the cost of such a small increase for only some of the workers in the overall cost is another matter.

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  39. dime (9,430 comments) says:

    “dime, automation occurs in all employment areas not just MW.”

    of course, but it might not be viable at $13 an hour… at 16 an hour though, fire it up!

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  40. duggledog (1,358 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt – our average wage and minimum wage may be shit, but look at what you get -

    Free hospitals
    WFF if you’ve got kids
    Free (ish) education
    Pension @ 65
    And so on. You know the rest

    Feel free to tell me a better, safer country with a better deal – including cheaper houses, more countryside, cleaner rivers and sea, a country that is about the same climate.

    Off you go.

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  41. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    @BeeJay: unusual to have a business where productivity cannot be improved. As to whether you can do it without your staff playing along, different question. But SPC is right, if your business is not export exposed, then your competitors have the same problem.

    @SPC: funny handle in the context of SPCA in Australia. Turns out that you eventually go out of business when you can’t afford the wages you’re paying.

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  42. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    @duggledog: Australia.

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  43. Ryan Sproull (7,030 comments) says:

    Not far. Not far at all.

    Exactly. And when ATMs came in, bank tellers weren’t told, “Robots can do your job now – go home and relax.” They were told, “Robots can do your job now – find a new job.”

    That same dynamic writ large, assuming a basically arithmetic progression in what we consider the necessities of life, a geometric progression in the productive output of labour with technology, and a static ratio of productive:unproductive population, one of two things will happen:

    1. The mean number of hours in the working week decrease, tending towards zero.
    2. The proportion of productive output of the human race dedicated to luxuries and other non-necessities increases, tending towards 100%.

    We’re currently going down the latter path – the human race works just as much, producing ever more, which is enjoyed by the relatively few: global capital owners and the global violent statist system that maintains them.

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  44. Viking2 (11,129 comments) says:

    Rightandleft (558 comments) says:

    Workers deserve a wage that makes it worthwhile to have a job rather than sit on the benefit.
    =======================
    Next you will be telling us they have “RIGHT” TO A JOB.

    Idiots are daily born. They must have been proud the day you arrived.

    No one anywhere in the world has a right to a job.

    ==================

    This is just another way of shifting the social welfare dished out by these socialist Nats back to the employer.
    It would be much more sensible to remove some of the welfare such as WWF etc.
    Nanny state just got bigger.
    ————————————-
    dime (8,439 comments) says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 6:07 pm

    i wonder how far away we are from businesses automating a shit ton of jobs.
    ——————-
    Dime it will get another boost from this and your sales of imported goods will go up another notch when you replace something made here.
    But that’s ok I can see someone being unemployed at our place before long. Probably 2, replace them with new technology so I can compete with imported new stuff rather than refurbish the older stuff.

    reckon Key saw Preb’s is back and decided that, shit we need to get attention before we get screwed.

    Not much hope for young people anymore if they want jobs. BOP highest youth unemployment in NZ and about to get worse.
    Worse still all the Indians and Chows are operating on cash and will be joined by more.

    Still every politician in NZ has the same disease. A disease of the mind that allows you to freely give away other peoples money without conscience. Because that’s what this is. giving an employers money to someone else, by force.(of regulation).

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  45. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    dime, you are right on that. Higher wages do make local product/service automation more likely.

    However the move to automation more often comes from company insecurity. Lack of local workers or global competition. Till now American/western corporates have invested in cheaper offshore plant production, more than automation.

    However rising wage costs in places like China and concerns over labour practices could result in investment in automation (3D printing development is also a factor in more interest in automation).

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  46. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    @Ryan: is “flappy birds” a luxury that only the global capital owners use? Seems to me that’s the kind of “luxury” that we’ll be creating in the future. The question is whether many of the “workers” can do that sort of stuff.

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  47. BeeJay (69 comments) says:

    PaulL – the quality of the product we sell is critical, no common denominator is evident when we go to carry out the work! Competitors have different views about paying above minimum wage, and may not worry about the standard of their product. If the market is saturated, occupancy is full, some don’t care if Tripadvisor says they are shit, we do! We are extremely customer focused and we will have to decide that we have to try and lift tariffs, and risk losing occupancy, but we will not reduce quality! 1 April – here we go!

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  48. Viking2 (11,129 comments) says:

    me (8,440 comments) says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    “dime, automation occurs in all employment areas not just MW.”

    of course, but it might not be viable at $13 an hour… at 16 an hour though, fire it up!
    =====================
    Yep add in the days of holiday, sick, acc, PMT, Tangi leave, baby days and the list goes on.
    Those that can will especially with the dollar so high. Makes plant purchasing reasonably good value.

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  49. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    adze, regarding the councillors work practice, the stated aim of the living wage campaign is for it to be adopted by good employers. Care to name the councillor and his business?

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  50. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    Foxcann who build Apple I phones and I pads is planning one million robots.

    http://www.thenational.ae/business/industry-insights/technology/i-robot-would-you-like-fries-with-your-burger

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  51. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    @SPC: I think it’s public knowledge on who the Councillor is, I just don’t recall the name. Wasn’t DPF posting about it a couple months back?

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  52. wiseowl (762 comments) says:

    Very interesting.On Stossel question right now asked of 1500 students from around the world was ‘should the minimum wage be raised’.
    No one agreed!
    ch88

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  53. adze (1,864 comments) says:

    SPC, here’s a link. The councillor concerned is Mark Peck. He supported the living wage for the council but not for staff in his own business:

    http://wellington.scoop.co.nz/?p=63004

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  54. Rightandleft (636 comments) says:

    Viking2,

    I certainly never said people have a right to a job. I was saying we need to incentivise people to work rather than to sit around collecting a benefit. I would not consider that a left wing position.

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  55. PaulL (5,873 comments) says:

    @Rightandleft: I think that the minimum wage isn’t the key barrier, the tax and transfer system is. If you could get a part-time job for, say, $100 per week, and keep $80 of that in the hand after benefit abatement and tax, you’d be much more likely to do it. I think at the moment if you get a part time job for $100 you end up keeping about $30 of it, and you’ll have petrol costs, uniforms, and you have to actually go to work. That’s a pretty hard proposition.

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  56. Scott (1,707 comments) says:

    Viking 2,thank you for your contribution, man for a supposed right wing blog there seems little enthusiasm for right wing economic ideas.
    Freemark, I thought your remarks were brilliantly written and inspiring apart from one small point. National has been captured by the progressive disease and is now just as pc as the Labour party. None of Labour’s social reforms have been overturned, even such low hanging fruit as the antismacking law. And don’t get me started on Nationals support for gay marriage.
    But hey if A slightly lower top marginal tax rate is enough to get you to wax lyrical about the National party well good on you.
    As for me the enthusiasm for National has gone, I am with those who see them as another liberal, progressive party with slightly lower tax rates.

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  57. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    PaulL, there is an $80 exemption from the 70 cents in the dollar abatement for singles on a benefit and it is c$100 or higher for those on the DPB.

    Thus it’s normal tax off the first $80 or $100 of work income and then afterwards abatement at 70 cents in the dollar on top of normal tax.

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  58. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    wiseowl, it shows how lacking in confidence or unread the students are, the debate amongst economists is a contested one.

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  59. wiseowl (762 comments) says:

    SPC.
    These are obviously selected students with a bit of nous.
    They see the folly of a minimum wage.
    Economists never agree on anything.

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  60. MT_Tinman (2,990 comments) says:

    I’m a small businessman (the business is small, I’m certainly not).

    I employ, at the moment, 1/2 employee.

    I could employ three.

    The minimum wage ensures even the 1/2 is temporary, the three will never happen.

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  61. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    If I could hire 3 people for the cost of half the minimum wage, I’d employ too – but where would they live? They would receive as much in AS as pay if single and in tax credits if they had children.

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  62. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    so the focus goes on lifting wages through productivity

    Ah no, we had this discussion the other day. Productivity has risen considerably since 1982 – by about 83% – while real wages have fallen by 25%. Whilst their should be higher wages, clearly it’s not happening.

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  63. freemark (448 comments) says:

    Show us your evidence for that productivity vs wages Huey…then we can debate the how & why…
    All evidence I see in statistics is that NZ productivity is comparitively very low, while minimum wage is very high.

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  64. Simon (685 comments) says:

    Artificial floors on prices create surpluses. 101 economics.

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  65. Ryan Sproull (7,030 comments) says:

    @Ryan: is “flappy birds” a luxury that only the global capital owners use? Seems to me that’s the kind of “luxury” that we’ll be creating in the future. The question is whether many of the “workers” can do that sort of stuff.

    Short answer: Yes, smartphone games are a luxury.

    Longer answer: I’m not opposed to luxury. In fact, I think that playing games, including computer games, is one of the more sensible uses of time in a technically post-scarcity world.

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  66. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    of course, but it might not be viable at $13 an hour… at 16 an hour though, fire it up!

    Poor dime – the appalling tragedy of the navigators being wiped out by automation following the development of cheap earthmoving machinery must really tug at your heartstrings. Why, the country is swamped with unemployed navvies, seamstresses, cobblers and blacksmiths – letting wages rise above sixpence a day has proven an unmitigated disaster for the economy…

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  67. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    Next you will be telling us they have “RIGHT” TO A JOB.

    My God! And after that he’ll be telling you they have a “RIGHT” TO OWN PROPERTY!

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  68. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    The minimum wage ensures even the 1/2 is temporary, the three will never happen.

    And if we’d just adopt Bangladesh’s labour laws, you could employ three hundred. So what?

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  69. srylands (386 comments) says:

    “Productivity has risen considerably since 1982 – by about 83% – while real wages have fallen by 25%. Whilst their should be higher wages, clearly it’s not happening.”

    Can you please provide us with the data that supports these statements? I would be surprised that real wages have fallen since 1982.

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  70. RightNow (6,659 comments) says:

    SPC: “Despite the WCC budget being nearly $400M pa, and the cost of placing 400 people onto the living wage is a mere $332,000 pa there is resentment at the cost of this from amongst the middle class.”

    Actually that’s just the cost from the “living wage” increasing from $18.40 to $18.80/hour.

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  71. MT_Tinman (2,990 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt (1,845 comments) says:
    February 24th, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    And if we’d just adopt Bangladesh’s labour laws, you could employ three hundred. So what?

    PM I understand that being socialist (wannabe communist without the intestinal fortitude) means putting the brain in neutral but even an imbecile should recognise that businesses often have both good and bad times and when times are bad the boss can work for nothing (or less as I did for 15 months in a row post earthquake) but employees still must be paid a minimum wage.

    Communist scum are not noted for their maths but even they should understand that sooner or later the money runs out and there is no more business, hence no more job.

    As an aside PM, you should have been paying me for the last three years, where’s my money?

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  72. srylands (386 comments) says:

    ““Productivity has risen considerably since 1982 – by about 83% – while real wages have fallen by 25%. Whilst their should be higher wages, clearly it’s not happening.”

    Psycho I have not checked the productivity numbers but I call bullshit on your real wages claim.

    Since 1982, the CPI has increased by 261%
    Since 1982, average wages have increased by 295%

    http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/monetary_policy/inflation_calculator/

    Now how is that a fall in real wages, let alone a 25% fall?

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  73. Harriet (4,519 comments) says:

    “……Productivity has risen considerably since 1982 – by about 83% – while real wages have fallen by 25%. Whilst their should be higher wages, clearly it’s not happening….”

    Yes…..productivity has risen considerably……….

    ………in Asia in that time it has risen by 2000+%!!!!

    Their productivity rose – driving down the production costs of the goods they made – which then drives down the selling price of their goods – which then drives down the selling price of their competitors goods – which in turn drives down the wages of NZers.

    How else can you explain why we can buy a toaster for $9.99? – charity? :cool:

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  74. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    Psycho I have not checked the productivity numbers but I call bullshit on your real wages claim.

    It wasn’t my claim, but since you ask, there are some illustrative graphs in this blog post, which cover the fall in real wages and the failure of productivity improvements to be reflected in wages.

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  75. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    …when times are bad the boss can work for nothing (or less as I did for 15 months in a row post earthquake) but employees still must be paid a minimum wage.

    I’m pleased to see you grasp the difference between owning your own business and working for wages. Did you have some other point to make?

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  76. bhudson (4,734 comments) says:

    Despite the WCC budget being nearly $400M pa, and the cost of placing 400 people onto the living wage is a mere $332,000 pa there is resentment at the cost of this from amongst the middle class.

    @SPC,

    The lift from $18.40 to $18.80 per hour will cost an extra $332k.

    But, please, don’t let an inconvenient little thing like the truth get in the way of your ideology…

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  77. Ben Dover (526 comments) says:

    Government employees are commie lovers

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  78. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    srylands, “Since 1982, the CPI has increased by 261%, Since 1982, average wages have increased by 295%.”

    Apart from asking why the median wage is not used given the escalation of top level salaries raises the average above the median, there is this.

    What is the increase in median house price between 1982 and now? Note that residential property is not covered by the CPI. All that productivity increase and buying a home is less affordable.

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  79. SPC (5,392 comments) says:

    In 2013, the average work income is 737, while the median work income is 575 (obviously including part-time workers), but it’s still clear that the average is well over the median and this despite the fact that there are many low wage full-time workers earning little more than the MW.

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  80. Matt (223 comments) says:

    What’s going on here? The word “Luddite” is thrown around here all the time, yet when the socialists are complaining about labour automation no-one calls them on it??

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddite_fallacy

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  81. Harriet (4,519 comments) says:

    Very astute comment there Matt.

    Stick around.

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  82. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    The word “Luddite” is thrown around here all the time, yet when the socialists are complaining about labour automation no-one calls them on it??

    I don’t think dime would like you calling him a socialist.

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  83. KiwiGreg (3,176 comments) says:

    “but it’s still clear that the average is well over the median and this despite the fact that there are many low wage full-time workers earning little more than the MW.”

    I’m thinking math isn’t one of your strong suits.

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  84. Psycho Milt (2,265 comments) says:

    Please elaborate – it made perfect sense to me.

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  85. Left Right and Centre (2,821 comments) says:

    I know you fellows love National but Lord knows why?

    If you were serving a life sentence, and after ten years inside they said you could root a woman, but you could only choose between two fat ugly birds – you’d probably still fuck one of them. That’s National and Labour / GReens.

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  86. Left Right and Centre (2,821 comments) says:

    Minimum wage Cry Me A River story of the week….

    Young white uni girl working part-time at BK as featured on TV news.

    Whine whine whine whine whine whine someone threw a bit of paper or some shit right in my face whine whine whine whine whine it’s not enough blah blah whine whine….

    BTW – where’s the logic there ? It’s ok to abuse people at work if they’re paid over a certain amount ? The ‘minimum abuse wage’. What are you on ? $19 an hour ? Sweet – come closer I want to spit on you.

    What does she want to be paid ? $25 / hour ? And she’s at uni and will probably end up with some bullshit office job anyway.

    Not like the poor suckers stuck on minimum wage forever !! I’m not blaming minimum wage – I’m just saying – that’s life.

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  87. wreck1080 (3,730 comments) says:

    Min. wage is a little too high now I think.

    In the USA the minimum wage is under $10nzd per hour. So, the lefties should stop whining and go collect their dole.

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