Wow, never saw that coming!

Statistics NZ have released some information which is stunning economists the world over. Quote.

Higher prices for takeaway foods and restaurant meals pushed the food price index up 0.2 percent in the year to June 2018, Stats NZ said today.

Prices for restaurant meals and ready-to-eat food increased 3.0 percent. Lunch meals (up 3.8 percent) led the way, along with a wide range of takeaway food options.

?April?s 75 cent increase in the minimum wage, to $16.50 an hour, may have contributed to price increases for these items,? prices manager Matthew Haigh said.

?Of every $100 that Kiwi households spend on food, about $26 goes on takeaways and eating out.? End of quote.

A government mandated increase in the minimum wage, whether the industry could absorb it or not, may have contributed to price increases for takeaway items, usually served by minimum wage workers.

Well, I never!

Who would have thought that might be the outcome?

Next, you will be suggesting that minimum wage workers might be replaced by robots or other automation which works 24×7 without holiday pay or the threat of strike action.

Surely fat-cat, capitalist, rich-prick (white? male?) business owners would rather close their business than lay off staff and replace them with automation?

Photo: Whaleoil Albany Mall foodcourt North Shore Auckland

Surely they would rather quietly close the door and sack all the staff than be forced to pay wages that the market cannot sustain?

One of the worst days of my life was the day I had to make over 80% of the staff in my small business redundant. They were my employees but they had become my friends as well. Economics is an unforgiving taskmaster. The IRD must be paid, the rent must be paid and so on. Two into one does not go and all that.

If the input costs are forced up by a government that does not have a business brain between them, then something has to go and it is the low paid that will suffer first.

Why the current bunch of Wombles occupying the Treasury benches cannot understand that it is their natural constituents who will be hardest hit by their anti-business “economic” policies, is quite beyond me.

Photo: Whaleoil How many Kiwi minimum wage workers did these machines replace?