New Zealand is increasing the minimum wage to $ 20 an hour and raising taxes on wealthy residents to 39 percent. The changes took effect on Thursday. The Labor government About Jacinda Ardern estimates that the $ 1.14 minimum wage increase will benefit about 175,000 employees in the country with 5 million people. The minimum wage for interns was also raised to $ 16 an hour.
With the new minimum wage, which corresponds to 11.90 € an hour, employees have around NZ $ 44 or an additional 28 € in their hands per week. Hence, the minimum wage is among the highest in the world. Previously, there were calls from company lobbyists to postpone the planned minimum wage increase until the fall in light of the Corona crisis. In return, the country’s unions demanded an increase of NZ $ 22. The country’s center-left government has raised the minimum wage by $ 4.25 since Ardern came to power in 2017 as part of a coalition government.
“There is still a lot to be done, including building more homes, improving the health system and the job market,” Ardern said. Progressive social democracy was reelected by an absolute majority in a landslide victory in October, and was rewarded for its consistent work on the Coronavirus pandemic, which followed a “no virus” strategy and consistently containing the virus. Yet in New Zealand rent House and apartment prices are particularly high. The capital, Auckland, is one of the most expensive capital in the world. The waiting list for social housing has become longer and longer in recent years and also during the Corona crisis.
It also goes into effect on Thursday Increase taxes For the richest two percent in the country with an annual income of NZ $ 180,000. The tax rate will be increased to 39 percent. This is still lower than in neighboring Australia, where higher income earners with the same annual income pay a tax rate of 47 percent. According to the government, the tax increase could inject $ 550 million or € 328 million into New Zealand’s Treasury annually.
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