National is considering scrapping the Government's planned minimum wage increase if it wins this year's election, the party's finance spokesman Paul Goldsmith says.

The Government has progressively been increasing the minimum wage and promised it would reach $20 an hour by April 2021.

But, speaking to RNZ this morning, Goldsmith said National was considering putting a stop to this.

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Although he said he was not prepared to commit to promising to scrap the minimum wage hike today, he told RNZ "that is something we are certainly thinking about".

"We are focused on making it easier for average wage earners, New Zealanders who are working hard every day and struggling to get ahead."

In the Labour's coalition agreement with NZ First, an agreement was stuck to: "Progressively increase the Minimum Wage to $20 per hour by 2020, with the final increase to take effect in April 2021".

The first increase came into effect on April 1, 2018 – it was raised 75c an hour to $16.50.
The next year it was hiked to $17.70 and on April 1 this year, it will again be increased to $18.90.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson has maintained that the minimum wage increases would make sure all New Zealanders "get a fair share in prosperity".

But National has argued that it stifles growth and puts a strain on small businesses.
When it was in government, National also progressively increased the minimum wage – albeit not as quickly as this Labour-led Government.

Stopping the minimum wage increasing to $20 an hour would not require a law change from a National-led government.

Meanwhile, Goldsmith has continued to tease more details of National's tax cut plan.


"We have signalled that in this election year that a small business relief package, in a sense, will be part of the story."

To pay for the tax cuts, Goldsmith said it was "looking at" Government policies such as fees-free and the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) which it might scrap to pay for the tax cuts.

But the money for the PGF has already been allocated by the Treasury and could not be cut by a National government.