New Zealand raises minimum wage and increases taxes on the rich

New Zealand is raising its minimum wage to $20 an hour and increasing the top tax rate for the country’s highest earners to 39%.

The changes will be rolled out on Thursday, alongside small increases to unemployment and sickness benefits. The government estimates the minimum wage increase – a rise of $1.14 per hour – will affect up to 175,500 workers, and increase wages across the economy by $216m.

The new top tax rate will apply to anyone earning more than $180,000 a year, about 2% of New Zealanders. The government estimates it will bring in an additional $550m in revenue this year.

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