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After-tax wages up 2.5% in year to March

Tuesday 14th June 2011

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After-tax wages continue to rise faster than prices, Finance Minister Bill English has said.

The real after-tax average wage rose 2.5% in the year to March 2011, after accounting for all consumer price increases including food prices and the one-off rise in GST last October.

"Everyone's circumstances are different, and we appreciate things remain challenging for many New Zealanders. But it's encouraging to see that, on average, take-home wages continue to rise faster than prices," English told Parliament today.

"In the latest March year, the after-tax average wage grew 7.1% in nominal terms and 2.5% after adjusting for inflation.

"This means that since September 2008, after-tax wages have increased 17% in nominal terms and 10% after adjusting for inflation. That compares to real growth of just 4% over the entire nine years to September 2008."

English said New Zealand's 2.5% increase in inflation-adjusted after-tax wages in the year compares to just 0.6% real growth in Australia.

"This Government is committed to helping New Zealanders get ahead, enjoy higher incomes and lower interest rates for longer," he said.

"This will require continuing change, year after year, to put the economy on a more competitive footing."



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