I’ve already put some of the arguments in favour of raising the minimum wage. Here are a few more:
- A minimum wage of $15 an hour will mean extra earnings of $427 million a year for our lowest paid workers. Most of that money will be spent on essentials – food, clothing and health-care – and will go straight back into the economy.
- David Parker rightly points out that the minimum wage has to be one families can live on, that rewards hard-work, and that helps stem the flow of thousands of people to Australia where wages are much higher.
- Minimum wage increases have lagged behind productivity increases over last 20 years. For the health of our communities they need to increase in a sustainable fashion.
- If Government future ambitions for growth are to be realised, the fruits will need to be shared. My bill helps ensure that is the case.
- Inequalities are growing since National’s 2010 tax package which increased GST, and gave the biggest tax cuts to those already wealthy. These growing inequalities begin to be addressed by my bill. Women, Māori, Pacific people, youth and part-time workers are more likely to benefit from an increase in the minimum wage.
If you’re new to this debate, Ch9 News in Dunedin has a background piece on my bill. It’s worth a look.