Dana Leavy at Stuff reports:
Prime Minister John Key says the Government will decide whether it will reintroduce the youth minimum wage before the election, but says it is unlikely.
This is disappointing. I have no doubt that a $13/hr minimum wage has priced unskilled 16 and 17 year olds out of the market. The three solutions are:
- Lower the minimum wage for everyone
- Have a separate lower minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds, say at 80% of the adult minimum wage as it used to be
- Have the minimum wage law apply only at age 18, instead of age 16
Option 3 would be my preference. This would be the greatest boost to youth employment, and ensure that 16 and 17 year olds are able to get jobs.
However, Key said today the Government needed to look at all the factors that might work.
“We will consider it,” he told TV3′s Firstline programme. “I wouldn’t say we would necessarily carry it out.”
There was already a training wage which covered the first 200 hours, Key said. While a youth minimum was a factor, the Government didn’t want the public to believe it was the only factor.
“Because I think if it’s the only factor someone’s getting employed on, we’re probably getting off on the wrong track here.”
It is not the only factor, but it is a factor.Tags: John Key, minimum wage, youth rates