Minimum wage to increase to $16.50

The minimum wage will be increased by $0.75 to $16.50, the Government has announced.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said the change will come into effect on April 1 next year.

"The increase to $16.50 per hour will benefit approximately 164,000 workers and their families, and will increase wages throughout the economy by $129 million per year," he said.

"Raising the minimum wage to $16.50 next year was one of the Government's top priorities for the first 100 days, and we are committed to increasing the minimum wage to $20 by 2021."

Lees-Galloway said the changes were a part of the Government's wider workplace relations policy platform, which was about fair pay and conditions and ensuring those on lower incomes could to share in the country's economic prosperity.

"To that end, within the first 12 months of this Government's term we will abolish starting-out rates and consider changes to the training wage. In the meantime, these rates will continue to be at 80 per cent of the minimum wage, increasing to $13.20 per hour," he said.

Comments

Raising the minimum wages causes struggling businesses to raise produce prices which then leads to living cost increases across the country in general, which then requires the minimum wage to be increased. If a business is making huge profits then the thing to do is to voluntarily increase internal wages without the need to increase prices, which keeps operating costs steady across the business and community.