Government announces minimum wage boost, to $18.90 an hour

People earning the minimum wage are getting a $1.20 an hour pay boost next year as the Government increases the minimum wage.

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It’ll go up to $18.90 per hour, meaning a raise for around 250,000 workers. Source: 1 NEWS

Today Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Less-Galloway announced the minimum wage would go up to $18.90 an hour on April 1, 2020.

It's currently $17.70 an hour, meaning an extra $48 a week for Kiwis working full-time, he says.

"We're implementing a balanced approach to the minimum wage increases and have provided certainty to businesses who told us they wanted to know how much the minimum wage will increase and when the changes were going to happen."

The starting out and training wages are also rising, to $15.12 an hour - remaining at 80 per cent of the adult minimum wage.

The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions welcomed the announcement, calling it a "significant and meaningful increase".

"We are thrilled that this Government is taking active steps to improve the lives of working people by ensuring that the lowest paid are getting an increase from their employer," president Richard Wagstaff said in a statement today.

Mr Lees-Galloway says the boost reconfirms the Government's plan for a $20 minimum wage in 2021.

"With our economy doing well, we want to make sure that our lowest paid workers also benefit," he says.

"The rise in minimum wage is estimated to boost wages by $306 million a year across the economy. That's a good investment in local economies where workers spend their wages."

The living wage - an estimate covering a family's basic costs like food, transport, housing and childcare - is currently $21.15. The estimate is by Living Wage Movement Aotearoa and is not legally legislated as the minimum wage is.