WORLD New Zealand's minimum wage to increase by rate of inflation from April 1


New Zealand's minimum wage to increase by rate of inflation from April 1


13:46, February 08, 2023

WELLINGTON, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- New Zealand will lift the minimum wage by 1.5 NZ dollars (0.95 U.S. dollars) to 22.7 NZ dollars (14.36 U.S. dollars) per hour from April 1 in line with the Consumer Price Index, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Wednesday.

New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins gestures during his post-Cabinet press conference at Parliament in Wellington, New Zealand, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023. (Photo: AP)

"In tough times, it's critical to support those who struggle the most to make ends meet," Hipkins said.

"Those on low incomes make impossible trade-offs between food and medical care, dry homes and a pair of shoes," he said, adding an inflation-adjusted lift in the minimum wage will means thousands of New Zealanders do not go backwards.

The Starting-Out and Training minimum wage rates will be maintained at 80 percent of the adult minimum wage.

The increase of the minimum wage is broadly in line with existing average wage growth across the economy, Hipkins said.

An increase of 7 percent in the minimum wage will have only a minor inflationary impact of 0.1 percent on the wages portion of gross domestic product, he said, citing government-led research.

The prime minister also announced a suite of programs that are being cancelled or delayed in order to put the government's focus on the cost of living.

"The government is refocusing its priorities to put the cost of living front and center of our new direction," Hipkins said.

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