New Zealand has raised the minimum wage to $ 20 per hour and raised the country’s highest income tax rate to 39%.
The changes will take place on Thursday, with a slight increase in unemployment and illness benefits. The government estimates that a minimum wage increase ($ 1.14 increase per hour) will affect up to 175,500 workers, resulting in a $ 216 million increase in wages for the economy as a whole.
The new maximum tax rate applies to those who earn more than $ 180,000 a year, which is about 2% of New Zealanders. The government predicts that it will generate an additional $ 550 million in revenue this year.
OECD data Shows that New Zealand’s previous minimum wage as of 2019 is already in the top five highest in the world. During the Covid pandemic process, many of the country’s key workers, including those working at airports and borders, are the minimum wage earners and are considered front-line defenses against viruses.
In 2020, the union demanded a $ 22.10 increase in living wages for frontline people. “It’s a big problem for these workers, partly money and partly the dignity that the community feels rewarded for the sacrifices they make,” said United Union Secretary of State John Crocker. I told TVNZ at that time.
Regarding this week’s change, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said he fulfilled his pre-election promise and represented “a real and long-term improvement in the support we provide to the most vulnerable.”
“There’s still a lot to do, such as building a house, improving the health care system, investing in education, training and work opportunities,” she said.
New Zealand continues to struggle High child poverty rate And housing costs.Auckland homes, for example, are one of the most affordable homes in the world, with home prices around 11 times the average income..
Housing shortages have hit vulnerable New Zealanders particularly hard. On Tuesday, staff reported The public housing waiting list sets a new record, with more than 22,800 households waiting for homes.
The opposition national party opposed the increase in the minimum wage. “For small businesses, raising the minimum wage significantly during periods of extreme uncertainty is an economic vandalism,” said workplace-related spokesman Scott Simpson. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has advised the government to delay growth due to economic uncertainty caused by Covid-19.
The Ardern-led government has gradually raised the minimum wage over the past four years, rising $ 4.25 per hour from 2017. Last year Ardern made a headline For encouraging New Zealand employers to consider adopting four-day work week and other flexible arrangements as a way to rebuild from Covid-19.
“I hear a lot of people suggesting that they should work four days a week,” she said at the time. “After all, it’s actually between the employer and the employee, but as I said, I learned about Covid, and the flexibility of teleworkers, and the productivity that drives them. There are many things. “
New Zealand raises minimum wage and raises taxes on rich people | New Zealand
Source link New Zealand raises minimum wage and raises taxes on rich people | New Zealand