7 Feb 2011

Minimum wage rises to $13 an hour

10:17 pm on 7 February 2011

The Government says heeding calls to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour could result in the loss of jobs.

Instead, it has announced that the rate will rise by 25 cents to $13 an hour from 1 April.

The Minister of Labour says the increase strikes a balance between protecting jobs and ensuring a fair wage.

Kate Wilkinson says Labour Department modelling shows as many as 6000 jobs could be lost if the rate was pushed above $13.50.

The Labour Party has promised to lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour within three years if it wins this year's election.

But Ms Wilkinson says $15 is unsustainable, while Prime Minister John Key says he is satisfied the increase goes far enough.

Training and new entrants' minimum wages will also increase also by 20c to $10.40 an hour from April.