16 Nov 2011

Four minor parties back rise in minimum wage

10:11 pm on 16 November 2011

Most of the minor party political leaders say the minimum wage should be increased.

They commented on the issue during a TNVZ debate on Wednesday night.

The Maori, New Zealand First, Mana and the Green Party leaders all supported raising the minimum wage from $13 to $15.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says the current minimum wage does not provide enough for people to live on.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says if poor people were given a pay increase, the money would go straight back into the economy, with the money spent on basics such as food and clothes.

United Future leader Peter Dunne says the minimum wage is just that - a minimum rate. He says the aim should be to get people on a higher wage because they are in productive jobs.

United Future does not support raising the minimum wage, and neither does the ACT party.

Its leader Don Brash says increasing the rate would lead to job losses.