John Key’s track record on raising wages – 6. Youth Rates
Continued from: John Key’s track record on raising wages – 5. The Minimum Wage
6. Youth Rates
When Labour was elected into government in 1999, replacing the highly unpopular Shipley-led National administration, one of their first actions was to radically reform the Youth Rate,
- From 2001 to 2008 the adult minimum wage applied to employees aged 18 years and over. Prior to that, the adult minimum wage only applied to those aged 20 years and over.
- From 1 April 2008, the adult minimum wage applies to employees aged 16 years and over, who are not new entrants or trainees.
- The youth minimum wage applied to employees aged 16 and 17 years. From 1 April 2008, the youth minimum wage was replaced with a minimum wage for new entrants, which applies to some employees aged 16 or 17 years.
- The training minimum wage was introduced in June 2003.
It did not appear to unduly impact on unemployment, which consistantly tracked downward in the 2000s, until the down-turn caused by the Global Financial Crisis began to impact on our economy, in 2007/08.
On 9 October, Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson announced that National intended to introduce a new Youth Rate, to take effect in April, next year. The rate would be set at $10.80 an hour – compared to the minimum rate of $13.50 an hour currently, and would include 16 to 19 year olds.
As Scoop.co.nz reported,
“That equates to $10.80 an hour, or $432 before tax for a 40-hour week. From April next year, the ‘Starting Out Wage’ will apply to 16- and 17-year-olds in the first six months of a job, to 18- and 19-year-olds entering the workforce after spending more than six months on a benefit, or 16 to 19-year-olds in a recognised industry training course.”
It is doubtful if National’s Youth Rate will actually create new jobs. More likely, a drop in youth wages will simply create more ‘churn’ in employment/unemployment numbers.
As David Lowe, Employment Services Manager for the Employers and Manufacturers Association, inadvertently revealed,
“Without an incentive an employer with a choice between an experienced worker and an inexperienced worker will choose experience every time.”
So there’s no new job for the younger worker – s/he is merely displacing an older worker. Which probably results in older workers joining the migration to Australia.
End result; a loss of skill and experience for New Zealand, and a gain for our Aussie cuzzies.
Nice one, Mr Key. Remind us when you took on the role of staff recruiter for Australia?
On top of this, we have this bizarre rationale from Kim Campbell, CEO of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, who is arguing that young people should be paid less because they have less to pay for. I kid you not.
“Remember these people are not raising a family or running a household on this money –nobody expects them to – but it does give them some money to get started on.”
Campbell’s remark are offensive on several levels.
Firstly, National’s intention to return to Youth Rates for 18 and 19 year olds, as well as 16 and 17 year olds, is simply unreasonable. These people are young adults, and those studying at polytech and University Students will soon be earning less, even while having to pay Student fees; course-costs; and living expenses like rent, food, power, and other financial committments.
Secondly, 18 and 19 year old are as able to have families as their older counterparts.
Thirdly, by what logic is it of Ms Campbell’s business that “these people are not raising a family or running a household on this money“?! It’s none of her damned business what 18 and 19 year olds spend their wages on.
Conversely, does that mean Ms Campbell will encourage companies to pay a higher, living wage,to those workers who do happen to have families?!
If National has a secret agenda to motivate more young people to head overseas, such a plan will succeed beyond their wildest dreams.
18 and 19 years olds – old enough to get married; old enough to get drunk; old enough to get killed in a warzone – but not old enough to be paid the same adult rate as a 20 year old?
National should take note; it’s true that 16 and 17 year olds can’t vote.
But 18 and 19 year olds can – and do. I bet they just can’t wait to vote at the next election.
And precisely how does this raise wages, as per Dear Leader’s promises?
Next chapter: 7. Part 6A – stripped away
In June last year Prime Minister John Key said the prospect of a new youth rate was unlikely,
“I don’t think there’s a high probability. Whether we’d actually bother embarking on that it’s far too early to say.”
Source: Govt reintroduces youth wage
Ten months and one election later, preparations are under way to legislate.
Is ten months “to early to say“?
= fs =
For a better New Zealand…
~ Cleaner rivers
~ No deep-sea oil drilling
~ Less on Roads - more on Rail
~ A Living wage at $18.40/hr
~ Marriage equality - Yay! Got that one!
~ Strong, effective Unions
~ No secret free-trade deals
~ Breakfast/lunches in our schools
~ Introducing Civics into our school curriculum
~ Cut back on the liquor industry
~ A fairer, progressive tax system
~ Fully funded, free healthcare
~ Ditto for education, including Tertiary
~ Fund Pharmac for Pompe's Disease medication & other 'orphan' drugs
~ No state asset sales!
~ Rebuild public TV broadcasting!
~ Keeping farms in local ownership
~ Reduce poverty, like we reduced the toll for road-fatalities
~ Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!
~ Being nice to each other
- 2014 – Ongoing jobless tally
- A Study in Party Stability
- Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
- Letter to the editor – “An Alarmed World” according to The Listener
- No More. The Left Falls.
- Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
- Letter to the editor: the culling of Cunliffe (v2)
- Letter to the editor: the culling of Cunliffe
- The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
- She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
- Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
- Teflon Man No More
- It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad short of a picnic
- Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Sunday afternoon
- Frank Macskasy: Who I voted for…
- September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
- Katherine Rich – resign!
- It’s time for Key to go!
- Political joke of the week…
- The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
- Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
- Welcome to Glenn Greenwald…
- Dom Post journos get it wrong – again!
- Nothing to hide, eh?
- Letter to the Editor – Our PM insults a world-reknowned investigative journalist
- Letter to the Editor – A Claytons Capital Gains Tax?
- Polls, propaganda, and Tracy Watkins
- Message to Rawshark…
- Who sez superheroes aren’t real?
- October 2014
- September 2014
- August 2014
- July 2014
- June 2014
- May 2014
- April 2014
- March 2014
- February 2014
- January 2014
- December 2013
- November 2013
- October 2013
- September 2013
- August 2013
- July 2013
- June 2013
- May 2013
- April 2013
- March 2013
- February 2013
- January 2013
- December 2012
- November 2012
- October 2012
- September 2012
- August 2012
- July 2012
- June 2012
- May 2012
- April 2012
- March 2012
- February 2012
- January 2012
- December 2011
- November 2011
- October 2011
- September 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- 337,178 hits