Minimum Wage for Youth

The Herald reports:

The Council of Trade Unions (CTU) has welcomed the Government’s decision not to support the reintroduction of youth rates.

So the CTU is happy.

Opposition leader Phil Goff welcomed the decision.

“It’s crazy to suggest that any young person doing the same job exactly as older people should be paid automatically at a lower rate. It didn’t add up,” he told reporters.

As is Phil Goff. This means it must be wrong!

Goff’s own statement shows a total misrepresentation of the situation. Having a lower minimum wage for teenagers is exactly that – a lower floor. How the hell you translate that into “should be paid automatically at a lower rate” I do not know. Once again, for the really stupid people, – this is about a floor – not a ceiling, not an automatic rate that you must apply to teenagers.

In today’s NBR 24/7 column I rip into the Govt’s decision:

It really brings into doubt the seriousness of the Government in terms of job creation, when it persists with a law that has clearly priced many teenagers off the job market. …

Most teenagers are not seeking full-time employment. What they desperately want is to gain some work experience, and to gain some extra money on top of whatever parental or student support they have.

By agreeing to vote down Sir Roger’s bill, the Government is saying we want young people to be unable to gain work, unless an employer thinks they are worth almost $13 an hour. …

Later this year, overall unemployment should start tracking down. If youth unemployment remains persistently high, the Government will have no one to blame but themselves.

There are 45,000 teenagers unemployed. This decision is a very bad one.

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