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News / Minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates increase today

Minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates increase today

Minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates increase today

Posted April 01, 2021
Business , Community , Government

Changes to the minimum wage, main benefit levels and superannuation rates that come into force today will raise the incomes for around 1.4 million New Zealanders, according to the Government.

People earning minimum wage will also receive more money in the hand from today.

“Today’s rise to $20 per hour is estimated to boost wages across the economy by $216 million, giving New Zealanders more money to spend at local businesses,” Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Wood said.

“This will lift the incomes of around 175,500 New Zealanders – which means $44 more each week before tax for Kiwis working full time on the minimum wage.

There are many Kiwis who earn the minimum wage who have gone above and beyond in our fight against COVID. I think everyone agrees those who served us so well during lockdown – including supermarket workers, cleaners, and security guards – deserve a pay rise.”

National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston said, “Changes to benefit abatement thresholds aren’t enough to help struggling Kiwis get ahead, there needs to be a greater focus on supporting our beneficiaries into jobs.”

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says the minimum wage rise that takes effect today is just one of several new obligations looming for small businesses, and they are struggling under the load.

“Many businesses are already finding it hard to pay staff given Covid trading restrictions and the slowing economy.

“In addition, new regulations are coming that will require additional sick leave payments, a new public holiday, contractors facing mandated increased wage costs, and new wage scales for pay equity and fair pay negotiations. All these will add to the cost burden on small businesses.”

Other changes today include:

· The starting-out and training minimum wages will rise to $16.00 per hour, to remain at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

· A new top tax rate of 39 percent on income earned over $180,000 will apply.

· Student Allowance payments will increase 1.15 percent.

Annual General Adjustment to increase Foster Care Allowance and the Orphan’s Benefit and Unsupported Child’s Benefit by 1.15%.