Minimum wage to rise

KATE CHAPMAN
Last updated 13:42 26/02/2013

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The minimum wage is to rise by 25c an hour to $13.75, Labour Minister Simon Bridges says.

The training and new entrants' minimum wage will increase from $10.80 to $11.80 - 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

"Setting these wage rates represents a careful balance between protecting low-paid workers and ensuring jobs are not lost as the economic recovery gains pace," Bridges said.

The new rates take effect on April 1.

Labour MP Darien Fenton said the 25c increase was a "slap in the face" for the poorest 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.  How would they like to try to live on $550 a week before tax?"

Labour's policy is to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour but it also supports the recent living wage campaign which said $18.40 an hour is what people need to earn.

Fenton said National had shown no interest in lifting wages and had given up on closing the gap with Australia.

"National has sat back and watched as the gap between the rich and the rest gets wider and wider."

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