Minimum wage lift has mixed impact
The minimum wage has continued to rise since 2007. Reporter Caitlin Wallace investigates how the latest spike will affect the district.
Mixed emotions are playing out around the district following a rise in the minimum wage.
The adult minimum has now increased to $14.25.
Lisa Liddell, owner of Bev’s Delight in Putaruru, believed the 50 cent increase could hurt some of the district’s businesses including her own.
‘‘Consequently I may have to put my prices up, it’s quite a big wage,’’ she said.
Liddell, who has five employees, said she would like to pay her staff more than the minimum but it is just not possible.
Meanwhile, Lichfield Poultry Farm owner Maria Patterson, who already pays her employees higher than the minimum, said the increase was needed.
‘‘I think it’s a good idea and it needed to be done, people are not earning enough to live on,’’ she said.
In Tirau, Basil Crocker, owner of The Loose Goose, said his business would be able to handle it.
‘‘ It hasn’t gone up really much, it’s reasonable,’’ he said.
But Crocker said if there was a larger rise, it may be an issue.
‘‘In the long term it could be detrimental, prices would go up and it would be too expensive to buy things and then you wouldn’t need as much staff,’’ he said.
Tokoroa financial adviser Vicki Macann said any increase for an employee is good but it would depend on how many hours they work.
Ministry of Labour communications adviser Phillippa Norman said the ministry could not measure how it would impact on specific regions.
Norman said an increase will have a flow-on effect and higher earnings will result in people spending more.
In 2011 the former Department of Labour examined the 2008 increase and found a drop in youth employment.
Since 2007, the adult minimum wage has more than doubled.