Minimum wage to increase to $15.25

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The minimum wage will be increased by 50 cents in April, the Government announced today.

The new minimum wage as of April 1 will be $15.25 an hour and the starting-out and training hourly minimum wages rates will increase from $11.80 to $12.20 per hour, remaining at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Woodhouse said an increase to $15.25 per hour would directly benefit about 152,700 workers and will increase wages throughout the economy by $75 million per year.

"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," Mr Woodhouse said.

"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.

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

"Our steady increases to the minimum wage reflect the Government's commitment to growing the economy, boosting incomes and supporting jobs."

- Bay of Plenty Times

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