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 $19.25/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
- Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches… (part rua)
- Hire a teenager, while they know everything
- Letter to the editor – a new angle in the flag debate
- Poor people – let them eat cake; grow veges; not breed; and other parroted right wing cliches…
- Letter to the Editor – Just how witless is our PM?!?!
- “I don’t know the details of that particular family” – Social Development Minister Anne Tolley
- 2015 – Ongoing jobless tally
- Blogger threatened with lawsuit over questions of conflict-of-interest regarding Mediaworks
- Letter to the Editor – How many more children must die, Mr Key?!
- Letter to the Editor – User Pays is not a very clever solution
- Housing Minister Paula Bennett continues National’s spin on rundown State Houses
- The Curious Case of Cameron Slater, the Hacker, and the unforgivable crime of stupidity
- Government Minister sees history repeat – responsible for death
- Nothing quite reinforces ‘Privilege’ than an ‘Us and Them’ Attitude
- The Mendacities of Mr Key # 13: Kiwisaver – another broken promise
- Latest Roy Morgan poll – wholly predictable results and no reason to panic
- Campbell Live, No More
- Friends, Kiwis, Countrymen! I come to praise John Campbell, not bury him
- Radio NZ – Mediawatch for 24 May 2015 – TV3’s Mark Jennings interviewed re Campbell Live
- National Tinkers while Auckland Property Prices Burn
- John Banks – A Tale of Two Cheques
- The cupboard is bare, says Dear Leader
- This is news?!
- National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!
- Letter to the editor – Used car salesmen and pony-tail pullers
- The Mendacities of Mr Key # 12: No More Asset Sales (Kind of)
- Why should tradies be prosecuted for doing “cashies” and not paying tax?
- “The Nation” reveals gobsmacking incompetence by Ministers English and Lotu-Iiga
- Today’s irony was brought to you courtesy of former ACT MP and Govt Minister, Rodney Hide
- Tick, tick, tick… Countdown for National begins
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