There will be much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth over the minimum wage increase coming in this year.
The Government has announced it will increase the minimum wage from the current $16.50 per hour to $17.70 per hour hour on April 1, with further increases to take it to $20 by 2021.
Let’s have a look at it.
In 1967 I was earning $10 an hour. The lowest wage I knew of in 1967 was $7 an hour. I bought a house for $4000. I could buy a new car for $1000. My mortgage was $7.50 a week and everything else was cheap.
Here we are, 55 years later, and the minimum wage – if we look at $7 an hour as the minimum back in 1967 – all those years ago has only gone up $10 an hour, whereas costs have risen hundreds of percentages. The house I bought in Wellington would now cost well more than $1 million.
There is a huge imbalance here, which is a disgrace to employers and everyone who charges like a wounded bull for products and services.
Something is out of whack here and needs addressing. We need to find a cure for the greed syndrome.
Yes, I was a businessman from the 1980s onwards and I fully understood the costs of running a business and I always paid a good wage.
Anyone charging from $80 upwards – I know of one firm in Tauranga charging $130 an hour – can easily afford the $1 increase next year without any need to lose any blood.
A Bourne, Bethlehem.