Manufacturing jobs: youth wage and benefit ‘merry’-go-round

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, October 9th, 2012 - 18 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Key and his ministers are trying to spin away the bad news about the crisis in manufacturing (as well-analysed by Anthony Robins this morning on the Standard).  The government needs to claim there is no manufacturing and job crisis, in order to justify an extension of a low and menial youth pay (to be announced today).  It is also as cover for the fact that most people who move off benefits, don’t do so to get jobs, and that a large number just move to another benefit.

Both the NZ Herald and Stuff are reporting that the government will announce an extension of the “youth wage” today, rebranded as “starting out”.  However, with the kinds of wages on offer, and (as Claimed by Matt McCarten) the proliferation of casual, part time and temporary jobs, such jobs are just as likely to be a dead end as the foot in the door to a blossoming career.

Danya Levy on Stuff reports,

The Government is expected to announce details of a ”starting out” wage today in a attempt to get more 16 and 17-year-olds into work.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Social Development Minister Paula Bennett and Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson will this morning release the Government’s Building Safe and Skilled Workplace programme which is the third of six business growth agenda reports.

It is understood it will include introducing a starting out wage that will be set at 80 per cent of the $13.50 an hour adult minimum wage.

It will effectively double the time workers can be on the Government’s training wage to six months.

Under that regime the $10.40 an hour rate can be paid for three months or 200 hours, whichever comes first.

These changes are unlikely to increase the amount of jobs paying  a living wage.  They would have many undesirable consequences, including taking jobs from some older people and giving them to young people at a lower wage. This is effectively a subsidy to employers. Claire Trevett in the Herald reports,

Announcing the policy last year, Mr Key had said the lower wage would give many youth “a much-needed foot in the door” and encourage employers to take on youth, rather than more experienced workers.

But Labour argued that it would instead send young workers over to Australia where the pay was higher.

Meanwhile, according to Kate Chapman, Labour MP Jacinda Ardern has received a reply to written parliamentary questions.  It seems that Paula Bennett’s claims that her reforms have resulted in more people moving off benefits into work is a bit of a distortion.   In August she claimed 6225 people moved from benefits to work.  In contrast, in the 3 months to June 30 50,561 came off benefits but didn’t go into work. The biggest number of people moving off benefits are just shifted to another benefit. The next largest movement is the group labelled “8 weeks after a change of circumstances”, then “Full Time Student”.

Here is the list of movements, taken from Chapman’s article and rearranged in order of the greatest to least numbers moved from a benefit:

People of working age whose benefit was cancelled for reasons other than ‘obtained work’ from April 1, 2012, to June 30, 2012.

  1. Transferred to another benefit: 18,525
  2. Eight weeks after advising of change in circumstance: 9983
  3. Fulltime student: 3430
  4. Lack of medical coverage: 3201
  5. Change in marital status: 2659
  6. Didn’t reapply: 2301
  7. Other: 2142
  8. Left New Zealand: 1970
  9. Failed the work test: 1700
  10. Lack of representation (didn’t do something required): 1289
  11. In prison: 1070
  12. Excess income/assets: 713
  13. Died: 678
  14. DPB recipients no longer with dependants: 528
  15. Left or ceased a course: 372

 [NB]: Interesting to note how quickly the TV3 and TV One 6pm News last night, picked up on Key’s spin line about “manufacturing a crisis”.  TV One reinforced it in with the print subtitle:  Manufacturing Crisis in their news summary.  Kudos for TV3 for pointing out how deliberately Key continually repeated there is no crisis.

Both channels willingly aired the visual reinforcement provided by the government, with photo ops of Key in industrial glasses on a factory floor (also conveniently  countering the recent images of Key schmoozing with the rich and famous in Hollywood).  In contrast, the opposition leaders were shown to be taking a more academic approach to their criticism: Russel Norman in a study with shelves of books behind him; Shearer and Parker seemed to be speaking in an empty classroom.

[Update]According to her own standards, Paula Bennett should be ashamed!  In reply to heckling from Sue Moroney in Question Time on 12 September 2012, this was Bennett’s response:

Sue Moroney: Trying to look busy. Doing nothing about jobs, trying to look busy.

Hon PAULA BENNETT: Opposition members call out, but, actually, although the unemployment benefit did drop under them, we saw the sickness benefit increasing, we saw the invalids benefit increasing, and actually they should be ashamed of what they did for those people in that time.

New policy announced, Government press release, CTU press release (Low Wages No Solution), Service and Food Workers  Press Release (Poverty Pay Won’t Give Young Workers Skills or Jobs), Labour Party press release (Low Wage Future No Future At All), Green’s press release (pay cut for young workers).


18 comments on “Manufacturing jobs: youth wage and benefit ‘merry’-go-round”

  1. David H 1

    I also noticed that companies can now hire 16 and 17 years olds. And some 18 and 19 year olds as well for like 10 bucks an hour for the first 6 months. So now we have the Adult 3 month ‘trial period’ and now we also have for the teens slavery for 6 months (well it is) and then what ? Rather than pay them the minimum wage ie: a pay rise of like 3.85 an hour. Whats to stop them saying so long and hire the next kid or just tell them they stay at 10 bucks or they’re gonners? Sound Joyce tactics there.

    • Tom Gould 1.1

      I can see Key telling the Hollywood moguls, between caviar canapes and sips of vintage Dom, that they will soon be able to hire youth extras and gofors for $US8 an hour back home.

  2. captain hook 2

    the whole fact of the matter is that no one in new zealand can really make or do anything.
    we are dumkopfs and if we do succeed then someone comes along and buys the bizzo out and moves it offshore.
    In the meantime the NZX wants the states assets to add depth to the stockmarket.
    what a fucking laugh.
    all the upper echelon in NZ can do is talk about it.
    they can make tons of hot air and frig all else.
    Oh they can make things hard for the people who need jobs!

  3. Jokerman 3

    you give, and take away

  4. xtasy 4

    How revealing those figures are! Bennett’s spin has been exposed as total BS!

    Re the mainstream media giving so much, more or less biased publicity and credit to Key’s comments re manufacturing and the crisis that apparently does not exist on “planet Key”:

    Who once ran Mediaworks, owners of TV3, Radio Live and so forth? Steven Joyce, now “multi minister” for almost “all affairs” with ANY relevance to economic planning.

    Who sits on the board of TVNZ and hase quite some influence? A known National Party lobbyist.

    Who pays the bread and butter of TVNZ staff? The government, presently run by NatACT.

    Who pays the bread and butter of most media? Indirectly at least the advertising industry and their customers (selling products and services).

    Who owns the newspapers and their online equivalents in NZ? APN and Fairfax, both Australian corporations with their NZ enterprises.

    What only sizeable broadcast media other but TVNZ, TV3 and their owners exists in NZ? Privately owned and run Sky TV, whose owners should be known to many.

    You do not bite the hand that feeds you, especially in the environment of large scale restructuring and sizeable lay offs. That is where journalism in NZ – and sadly also most other places -stands.

    So much for “independent” reporting, and no wonder they rather stick with Key and his government, as all the “paymasters” of mainstream media do have a vested interest in keeping things as they are.

    And there is ample presence of the “old boys network” in it too.

  5. Dr Terry 5

    Yet again, one is left breathless! I am trying to count the number of dreadful things that have happened under this Government in recent weeks/months that already appear to have been lost to sight.

  6. Mary 6

    Just heard Megan Woods on RNZ’s The Panel. She was appalling. Slagged the extension of youth rates – great – but then went on to offer not one single alternative. She was absolutely abysmal. If that’s all Labour can put up we’re doomed.

    • karol 6.1

      Well, to be fair, in the links above to the Stuff article, Labour said this:
      Labour would pay employers to take on apprentices, raise the minimum wage and foster innovation through research and development tax breaks, he said.
      ”We will create wealth through innovation and by supporting our businesses.  We can’t sit back and continue to see manufacturing jobs being shed – 40,000 have already been lost over the last four years.”
      And in their press release linked at the bottom of my post, this:

      Labour has real ideas that will make a difference. We will pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take on apprentices, raise the minimum wage, create a world-class education system, foster innovation through research and development tax breaks, tackle the high dollar by changing monetary policy and encouraging investment in the productive sector through a capital gains tax. 

      And I’ve added a quote to my post above – from Bennett about a month ago, saying that Labour should be ashamed of what they did in government, shifting people off unemployment benefits on to sickness and invalid benefits – which seems pretty much like what’s been happening under Bennett’s watch.

  7. felix 7

    So I just heard Kate Wilkinson on RNZ saying the youth wage is all cool, and it might seem a bit low but not to worry because “every job they get after that will be at the adult minimum wage”.

    A freudian slip shows just where their heads are at. It’s the low wage, low skill National Party dream.

  8. xtasy 8

    I like John Key now, as he looks like he would make a good butler.

    If he cannot get a job as butler at the Vatican, to cater for the Pope, I will consider giving him a well paid job on the minimum wage as my personal butler, after he will no longer be the Prime Minister.

    As such a genuine, honest, hard working and well motivated man of true highest value, I am sure John Key will value every job opportunity given, especially if it may be offered through WiNZ.

    I look forward to have my evening red wine poured into my glass by John, he looks like he is a real gentleman and is well qualified to do the job very well.

  9. Gosman 9

    What a surprise – the abolition of the Youth minimum wage by Labour likely led to massive increase in youth unemployment.

    • vto 9.1

      I propose reducing wages even further, just like in your over-egged Zimbabwe analogies, and in so doing reduce unemployment to near zero, just like in Zimbabwe.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    5 hours ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    10 hours ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    12 hours ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    1 day ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    2 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    3 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    3 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    3 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    3 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    3 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    4 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    4 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    5 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    5 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    5 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    6 days ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    6 days ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    6 days ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    6 days ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    7 days ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    1 week ago
  • Safety upgrades and certainty for Ōtaki highway
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today welcomed the NZ Transport Agency’s decision to fund urgent safety improvements and confirm the designation of the Ōtaki to North of Levin highway. Safety upgrades will be made along 23.4km of the existing state highway, running along SH1 from the end of the Peka Peka ...
    1 week ago
  • Playing our part to support refugees in our region and the world
    New Zealand playing its part in Asia-Pacific and globally are behind changes announced today to the Coalition Government’s three year refugee quota policy, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “We are proud to be a welcoming and inclusive nation committed to supporting some of the world’s most vulnerable people to rebuild ...
    1 week ago
  • Supporting thriving inclusive communities
    Creating thriving regions and inclusive local communities is the aim of the Welcoming Communities programme being rolled out across the country, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today. A successful pilot of the scheme ran over the last 2 years led by Immigration New Zealand and involved ten councils across five regions ...
    1 week ago
  • Takahē population flying high
    Takahē may be flightless but their population is flying high with the official count reaching 418 after a record breeding season that produced an estimated 65 juveniles, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “The population reaching a high of 418 is great news for takahē which were considered ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand makes further climate commitments
    New Zealand is today taking action to reduce the potent global warming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) gases, Climate Minister James Shaw and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. “The global agreement to reduce these potent greenhouse gases is another step in New Zealand’s commitment to reduce global warming. It is estimated ...
    2 weeks ago