Increase to minimum wage confirmed

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Kiwi employers with a staff made up largely of low-paid workers will see their costs shoot up as the government confirmed an increase to the minimum wage earlier today.

"The Government has once again taken care to ensure the right balance has been struck between protecting our lowest paid workers, and ensuring jobs are not lost," said Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Michael Woodhouse.

Due to come into force from 1 April 2016, the minimum wage will soon sit at $15.25 an hour – up from $14.75.

According to Woodhouse, the move will directly benefit approximately 152,700 workers and will increase wages throughout the economy by $75 million every year.

"With annual inflation currently at 0.1 per cent, an increase to the minimum wage by 3.4 per cent gives our lowest paid workers more money in their pocket, without imposing undue pressure on businesses or hindering job growth," he said.

"The government has increased the minimum wage every year since coming to office, from $12 to $15.25,” he added. “This is an overall increase of 27 per cent compared to inflation of around 11 per cent.”

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