NZ First wants $20 minimum wage

  • 18/08/2017

NZ First has set a goal of raising the minimum wage from the current $15.75 an hour to $20 an hour over three years if it's part of the next government.

Party leader Winston Peters announced the policy on Friday, saying it would increase productivity and stimulate the economy.

He told a public meeting in Tauranga his party knew the minimum wage couldn't be increased to $20 an hour without a change in the business tax regime.

"Accordingly, we will introduce a tax package for New Zealand employers and businesses to negate the increased cost for employers and businesses of paying fair wages."

Labour's policy, announced in June, is to increase the minimum wage to $16.50 an hour.

The theme of Mr Peters' speech was getting Kiwis out of struggle street.

He said along with raising the minimum wage NZ First would insist on removing GST from basic food items.

He didn't give details of what would be considered basic food items.

"For those armchair critics who have long forgotten, or who don't know what basic or essential food is, I recommend they ask their grandmother."