Supporting hardworking Kiwis

Column Articles
Wednesday, March 9, 2016

As the MP for Bay of Plenty, I know one of the most important things I can do is work towards a stronger economy and more jobs to support our families and households, especially with the rate that our region is growing at.

That’s why National’s economic plan is focused squarely on building a stronger economy that delivers higher incomes and provides more security for all New Zealanders.

As part of that focus – and because National believes in supporting hardworking Kiwis – we’re increasing the minimum wage by 3.4 per cent.

From 1 April the adult minimum wage will rise to $15.25 and the starting-out and training hourly minimum wage will increase to $12.20. National has increased minimum wages every year since coming into office.

It is expected to directly benefit more than 150,000 workers and lift wages throughout the economy by $75 million a year.

This is well above annual inflation of 0.1 per cent and gives our lowest paid workers more money in their pocket, without imposing undue pressure on businesses or hindering job growth.

We’re also seeing wage and job grow across the economy as our businesses grow in confidence.

When our businesses have confidence that our economy is in good shape, and in strong hands, they invest for growth and create new jobs.  This also contributes to building a more competitive and productive economy.

Through our Business Growth Agenda we’re delivering initiatives across infrastructure, capital markets, skills, innovation, export markets and natural resources. With our support businesses are increasingly confident and backing themselves on the world stage.

We also know that quality infrastructure such as transport, telecommunications, energy, and water helps give businesses confidence to invest another dollar and employ another person. Infrastructure projects also deliver thousands of real jobs for New Zealanders.

Since coming into office we’ve committed billions of dollars in infrastructure such as the Roads of National Significance involving around 35,000 construction jobs.

Regional State Highway improvements are expected to result in a further 2100 jobs. The Ultra-Fast Broadband and Rural Broadband Initiatives are supporting over 4000 jobs between them. And around $17 billion has been committed to the Canterbury rebuild which is employing thousands of people.

National believes people in employment can gain more skills, higher wages, and a better lifestyle, which is why we’re continuing to work hard on building a stronger Kiwi economy.

ENDS