PM rules out $15 an hour minimum wage this year
4:06 PM Monday Jan 18, 2010

Prime Minister John Key has ruled out a minimum wage increase to $15 this year despite 61 per cent of New Zealanders supporting the hike in a recent survey.

The New Zealand Herald surveyed 2300 people on the issue: 3.5 per cent of respondents said the minimum should be lower than the current $12.50 an hour, 30.5 per cent thought it should remain unchanged, 61 per cent thought it should go up and 5 per cent did not have an opinion.

About 100,000 workers receive the minimum wage, which is reviewed every year and Cabinet is expected to make a decision shortly whether to increase it.

Mr Key said the issue was not on tomorrow's Cabinet agenda but would be discussed "fairly soon".

"The Government has always tried to be fair. We recognise there are about 100,000 people who earn the minimum wage, I think it's important they are able to make ends meet as best possible, but also there's got to be a recognition that where there are increases in wages that they have to be paid for - we don't want to be threatening people's jobs so there's a balancing act here and that's what the Cabinet will consider," he told Newstalk ZB.

More here.

A bit more about it.