Minimum wage boost 'not there, but a good step' - Living Wage Aotearoa

Breakfast 20/12/2018
Photo: Getty.

Living Wage Aotearoa has applauded the Government's boost for workers making minimum wage, but still has its sights set at $20.55 per hour.

Minimum wage will be raised by $1.20 from April 1 next year to $17.70 an hour, which marks the biggest boost in New Zealand's history.

Annie Newman, convenor for Living Wage Aotearoa, says it will make a massive difference for many New Zealanders.

Companies already paying $20.55 will also be positively affected by their competition being forced to pay their employees a bit more, Ms Newman says.

But while the Government's boost is good news for thousands, Ms Newman argues that it's still not enough.

"We know that even on $17.70, people are really struggling to survive," Ms Newman told RadioLIVE.

Indeed, the new minimum wage is 14 percent lower than the living wage proposed by the volunteer-based organisation.

The living wage movement suggests that its recommended wage is "the income necessary to provide workers and their families with the basic necessities of life".

The organisation suggests $20.55 per hour will enable workers to "live with dignity" and participate as active members of society.

The minimum wage increased by 75 cents to $16.50 an hour earlier this year, which was originally announced in December 2017.

Workplace Minister Lees-Galloway said the latest move is part of the coalition Government's goal of having a minimum wage of $20 per hour by 2021.