Simon Bridges hasn’t ruled out scrapping Labour’s minimum wage increase if National become Government.
The current Labour Government plans to increase New Zealand’s minimum wage to $20 in April 2021.
National MP Paul Goldsmith yesterday revealed the party might not raise it any further.
Appearing on TVNZ 1's Breakfast today Simon Bridges talked about National’s economic policies, and didn’t rule out scrapping the increase.
Mr Bridges says he’s concerned about the effect the minimum wage increase would have on small businesses.
“In our economic plan one of those five things, I talked about tax relief, regulatory relief, infrastructure, one of them is small businesses,” he says.
“If we are going to do anything on the minimum wage we will announce it then and actually that’s not going to be too long away.
“I’m not suggesting it's easy right. But what Paul [Goldsmith] was saying, and I go along with is we’ve got a situation.”
Small businesses, Mr Bridges says, can’t cope with the speed and amount the minimum wage has risen.
“If you think about that struggle that also includes half a million small businesses and these aren’t fat cats, we're talking about people who if it's the hair dresser, the painter, they could be earning 50 grand a year so the problem there is under this Government their tax and costs have gone up, their revenue hasn’t particularly, this is very bad for New Zealand," he said.
“We put it up every year but it's going up now by really significant increments and my simple point is small businesses can’t cope with that.”