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Minimum wage increase a 'slap in the face'

Tuesday 26 Feb 2013 2:27 p.m.

By 3 News online staff

The Labour Party has blasted the Government’s 25-cent boost to minimum wage, calling it “miserable”.

From April 1, the minimum rage will increase from $13.50 to $13.75 an hour.

Labour MP Darien Fenton is calling it a slap in the face for New Zealand’s poorest-paid workers.

“Simon Bridges and John Key must be joking if they think an extra $10 a week is a fair pay rise for thousands of struggling workers and their families,” he says.

“Would they like to try to live on $550 a week before tax?”

Meanwhile the Greens’ Metiria Turei says it is degrading.

“You will have to be able to work an ordinary job and earn enough money to take care of their kids and live a dignified life. This minimum wage increase is nothing, it is an insult to working people.”

“Four out of 10 of the Kiwi children living in poverty and hardship come from working families. An extra $10 a week – less tax – won’t be enough to make their lives any easier,” says Mr Fenton.

“National has shown no interest in lifting wages.  It has given up on closing the wage gap with Australia, and instead sees low wages as a competitive advantage. It is abandoning thousands of families to a life of hardship.”

The Government says the rate has been carefully chosen to protect low-paid workers while ensuring jobs are not lost.

3 News/RadioLIVE

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