Nats refuse to face their record on youth

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 am, August 17th, 2011 - 45 comments
Categories: education, employment, jobs, john key, minimum wage - Tags: , ,

Having decided to beat up on a few thousand of the most hard done by young people in the country, National is now refusing to acknowledge the problem of disconnected youth that has ballooned under their watch. There are enough young people who aren’t in education, training, or work to fill Eden Park, and Key is literally running from the issue.

In a disgraceful display in Parliament yesterday, John Key refused to answer a question on his own promises regarding youth unemployment from Phil Goff and transferred the question to Paula Bennett. Not to be outfoxed, Goff swapped questions with Annette King, who had a question to Key accepted, also on youth issues. However, when Goff got up to ask King’s question, Key ran from the House like a coward, leaving Bennett to make excuses and try to deflect the issue. [inthehouse doesn’t have video up yet]

We have a serious problem in this country with disconnected youth who are locked out of work and education by the government. Last time this happened, during the neoliberal revolution, we got the 90s crime wave and the world’s highest rate of youth suicide as Roger and Ruth’s children became angry, hopeless young adults.

Right now, there are 58,000 young people aged 15 to 24 not in education, employment, or training (ironically, called ‘NEETs’). Duncan Garner points out that’s enough to fill Eden Park. I’m more worried about what else they will be filling if this is allowed to go on: planes to Australia, prisons, gang houses, dead-end jobs, and holes in the ground as teen suicide begins in rise again.

The first step in solving a serious problem (as we know from climate change and peak oil) is for those with the power to do something about it to acknowledge there is a problem. And National won’t.

Key’s disappearing act is just part of it.

Bennett refuses to talk about the 58,000 ‘NEETs’. When asked about disconnected youths in Parliament, she skited about how there are ‘only’ 16,000 young people on the dole now and that’s down from January last year. Of course, that’s just a seasonal change. In truth, youth dole numbers are nearly as high as total dole numbers 3 years ago. And, anyway, just looking at the dole number ignores all those aren’t on the dole but aren’t in education or training either – another 42,000 on top of the 16,000 Bennett acknowledges exists.

having none of her attempts to use number games to plaster over a serious issue.

Then, Key and Bennett try to pretend that unemployed young people aren’t really unemployed. See, to be part of the ‘official’ unemployed you have to be looking for at least one hour a week of work. And, according to Bennett, a lot of the 65,000 unemployed 15-24 year olds are in school or uni, so they’re not really jobseekers in her opinion.

Key and Bennett want us to believe it’s just 65,000 people wanting paper runs, I guess.

And they have no explanation for why there are suddenly so many more unemployed – data obtained by Labour shows that the number of young people who have been out of work for a year has increase 8-fold since National came to power – let alone why there are 58,000 who are unemployed and not learning.

National’s final play is to try to blame the problem on the abolition of the youth minimum wage. Now, that’s clearly ludicrous because we’re talking about 15-24 year olds and the youth minimum wage only applied to 16 and 17 year olds, most of whom are in school anyway.

It’s funny, in a way, that the Nats are now trying to blame young people getting the same pay for the same work as an adult for more young people being out of work, because when the law came in, as the Herald points out, National was saying equal pay was bad because it would draw more young people out of school into work. David Bennett, for example, told Parliament: “this will be a disincentive for people to go into education, when that is what we should be promoting as a country”. It didn’t happen, btw. The number of young people in the workforce has fallen sharply in recent years because THERE. ARE. NO. JOBS.

And that’s what it all comes down to. There are 58,000 young people out there right now for whom there are no jobs and no appropriate education opportunities (remember those Adult Community Education cuts?). That is a massive waste and a huge problem for us all. But before we can fix it, the government has to have the courage to admit that it exists and has expanded due to its neglect and malicious cuts.

What chance of that, do you think?

[PS. Trevor Mallard was kicked out for calling Key a chicken as he ran from the House. Fair enough, maybe. But there was some strategy in it from Lockwood. Mallard was kicked out for rest of the ‘sitting day’. When the House enters Urgency, the ‘sitting day’ continues for however many actual days it takes to get through all the bills in the Urgency motion. National has engineered it so Labour’s House Leader can’t be in the House while National slams through 11 laws this week]

45 comments on “Nats refuse to face their record on youth”

  1. Typical Tory response. They make a big noise at the margins (independent youth benefit recipients) but refuse to accept there is a youth unemployment problem. The IYB stuff is small change but makes them look like they are doing something, anything.

    Meanwhile they create no jobs. The market told them not to.

  2. tc 2

    Encourage folk to watch question time, Blinglish and sideshow mostly come across as cocky uncaring buffoons who evade just like this time. You never see this in the media as the average kiwi would see how clueless they are.

    • jackal 2.1

      Evasion seems to be the norm for the National party. Kate Wilkinson’s performance a few days ago was a perfect example of using procedure to avoid answering a question about her deporting the abused fishermen. But National do it all the time. It’s because they have no answers, they have no plan.

    • AAMC 2.2

      You will never convince many people to watch question time, but if somebody can get the footage onto youtube, we can all disseminate it as citizen journalists.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    When a society no longer knows how to or cares about looking after its young, you can expect a lot of things to start going bad. The momentum of all this really picked up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, disconnected atomised families, individuals trying to fend for themselves, a society which turns a blind eye when it knows better.

    Key and English must think they live in a different country to all these young people. A country so well guarded and ordered that societal distress isn’t going to one day end up on their own door step.

    • aerobubble 3.1

      But Key Nationals policy is to play to the grey vote who are now worried about youth criminals
      coming to their place, or their savings disappearing, or any number of stresses.

  4. Peter Martin 4

    “National has engineered it so Labour’s House Leader can’t be in the House while National slams through 11 laws this week”

    That’s simply not true. I heard Smith state very clearly early on in the session that any unruly behaviour could end up with the Member expelled and that could well be for some time as the Govt had indicated urgency was going to be called for.
    If Mallard can’t keep himself from rising to the bait, then more fool him.

  5. Afewknowthetruth 5

    It is just another demonstration that parliament is a disgrace, as has been the case for decades.

    Of course politicians love the way the system works: all power and no accountability. It’s the same at local government level.

    There is no hope for western societies under such a system.

    • Unless people force politicians to change. Election year is the best opportunity for that.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Yeah right! We get the privilege of changing the Dictators every three years.

        Even the South Americans were able to do that.

        • Reality Bytes

          Unfortunately, a few know the truth but their voice is not mainstream enough to influence elections enough to change the system, yet.

  6. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6

    I know you guys want the government to buy supermarkets and overstaff them with overpaid shelf stackers but, assuming the electorate has no appetite for the dark days when the government was losing money hand over fist in any hopeless business it happened to find itself in, what is it you think the government can do?

    The jobs during the last government were largely in the private sector and the result of a strong economy.

    None of the make work schemes any government of any stripe has ever tried have ever been good value for money in terms of actually getting people in work.

    • jackal 6.1

      Ensure communities have money to keep the economy working by keeping inflation low for one.

      By the dark old days I presume you mean the last Labour government that managed the deficit properly and gave National a zero net debt.

      I’m not sure about the make work schemes, but training allowances and 31,000 positions help young people get jobs. Did you know National cut those Gormless?

      • rosy 6.1.1

        training allowances and 31,000 positions help young people get jobs.
        A helping hand with a few more apprenticeships wouldn’t go astray either.

        • millsy

          I also suggest funding cadetships in the SOE sector as well.

          • aerobubble

            I think you are missing the point, while the rich don’t want to spend, or could hope to
            spend their wealth (limits on resources), there is little point forcing job creation
            since the invisible hand has been handcuffed. Commodities continue to rise, debt
            woes have not gone away, its not rocket science, oil will cost more decade on
            decade for the foreseeable future. Until we have open debate about why we have
            a economy we’re never get to the point where we know what to train youth in.
            World population is set to level out to 9 billion by 2050, it only is doing that
            because people are have *less* children than it takes to maintain the population
            level. So its pretty simple the market should be desperate to hire and retain
            young people, and corner the future commercial advantages. But no, its not
            happening because we have no direction, we don’t know how much oil
            is left, we don’t know what technology is just enough, wifi? fibre to the door.
            NZ should be well place if it weren’t for the neo-liberal shisters still peddling sh*t.

    • AAMC 6.2

      Stop funneling all of the money into the hands of 1% of the population who stash it all away in bonds and gold and work to rebuild the middle class and small to medium sized business as a priority over offshore multi-nationals for a start.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.2.1

        Here here!

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Do you mean, “hear, hear” or are you asking that all of the money be funnelled to you?

          AAMC, how is money being funnelled to the top 1%? Is the mere forbearance from taking it away from them “funnelling” by any sensible definition?

          • AAMC

            The games rigged Gormless; that, I think is plainly obvious. I gather there’s probably not a lot of point in entering into this discussion with you though.

            • freedom

              good call AAMC, save yourself the boredom

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Suit yourself. Only engage with people who agree 100% with everything you say. Then you can be re-assured that everything you think is absolutely correct.

                • AAMC

                  No, I’ve just got a lot of work to do, otherwise I’d love to point out the structure of our society, but it’s been done endlessly here already.

                  Anyway, perhaps the onus should be on you to prove that the 151 individuals on the rich list did not in fact increase their wealth by 20% while the rest of the country stagnates at best, starves on the street at worst.

                  The socialization of private losses, that’s a serious trickle up which doesn’t only reside in the American and European financial world (although we’re all part of the same global community aren’t we, so we could legitimately include them in the discussion) but right here in the guise of South Canterbury Finance, Mediaworks and oh.. that really big company Warner Bros, and wait for the free trade deal, that’ll be a nice “funneling” to Phizer and Sony BMG and so on and so forth.

                • freedom

                  oh gormless one that is so not true, so very very not true.

                  If one does not engage with people of differing opinions then it is difficult to learn, consider and when apt, to disregard certain aspects of a dialogue

                  It is simply you repeat ad nauseam the same monotonous dribble over and over, month in month out and never offer constructive realistic alternatives to the problems facing our species or even suggest a slight adjustment in direction. You choose not to see it for whatever reason but be aware that many people out there are growing tired of cyclic pointless dialogue and are pro-actively offering alternatives. I believe my own posts for example, though often acutely direct or in some minds pointless, are usually based in constructive discussion and i regularly offer and listen to, ideas for change.

                  There are alternatives to the broken and despotic attitudes of the rein -holders. Be a flag waving supporter of systems proven to be dangerous and destructive to people or join the millions of human beings who have simply had enough of the lies and are trying to discover just what can, and eventually will, be done about it.

                  This is not an organised card carrying club you can identify and vilify. These are your neighbors and your drivers, and your librarians and hairdressers. These are everyday people who are waking up to just what is going on. The really cool thing is most do not even know they have woken up untill faced with something as innocuous as the next grocery bill,
                  then a light goes on and they think, hang on a minute . . . .

                • AAMC

                  “Suit yourself. Only engage with people who agree 100% with everything you say.”

                  What, you mean like Key in parliament yesterday?

      • aerobubble 6.2.2

        Funny thing is Buffet sees there’s more money to be made if the rich pay more taxes and
        the society didn’t carry so many unproductive rich people who think they are hotstuff
        (but still need a tax cut crutch). Anyone who believe tax cuts are good is not any capitalist
        I want to respect.

    • bbfloyd 6.3

      good fom gormless one… make up half witted crap and then react to it like you have something real to say… i bet your kids thought you were a riot when you acted it out in front of them… unless they were just being polite so that they would get pudding…

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.3.1

        You are right of course. I am trying to work up to really big ideas, poignantly expressed. Like yours.

    • KJT 6.4

      I seem to recall apprenticeships, and other training schemes, doing well before 1990.

      By private sector do you mean those who bleat to the immigration department that they cannot get skilled staff.
      After not training anyone for 30 years, and expecting to pay less than they pay for that level of skills in India, Argentina, China and Africa.

      The only reason they get immigrants now, is whats left of the social wage, or they want residency to get into Oz.

  7. randal 7

    what record on youth?
    they haven’t done anything.

  8. Deadly_NZ 8

    It seems that whenever KY makes an ass of himself the footage just disappears.
    And how convenient that the videos of the day are missing due to the snow.

    Tui Ad time again.

  9. Oligarkey 9

    I had a dream last night which gave me a glimpse of National’s up-coming election campaign. National made a gigantic father Christmas out of sugar and bright food colouring, and towed it around on a truck trailer. Blaring from the truck was the tune “jingle bells” with the words replaced by “the rich count and the rest of you don’t, that’s the way the system goes” – or words to that effect. I had Key up about how facile and nasty he is, then he ran off. Funny how the subconscious works.

    Even in my dreams i can’t escape the banking oligarchy. What does one do?

  10. This is a comment I posted late yesterday on the ‘epic fail’ thread. It has links to the trends for IYB from 2004-2007.

    It may not have been seen (being a late comment) so I thought it might be useful on this thread too.

  11. Do note that the unemployment rate for 15-19 year olds is 27.5%. The 2008 changes hit the 15-17 year old cohort; the recession made the prior elimination of the youth rate for 18-19 year olds binding. At least that’s my bet.

    • Blighty 11.1

      No evidence for that odd theory, though.

      Still, it won’t stop you acting as if it’s true.

      Before it was pointed out to you that the youth minimum wage only applied to a small fraction of youths in the labour-force you were gleefully attributing the entire rise in youth unemployment to the abolition of the youth rate, and I haven’t seen any retraction on that elementary mistake.

      Instead, you’ve invented a complex and unfalsifiable theory to ‘prove’ you’re still right.

      You’re a weird kind of scientist, Crampton.

      Hell, what am I saying, you’re a neoliberal economist – that’s not really science, it’s ideology wrapped in thin veneer of numbers based on simplistic, convenient models, and not reality.

    • Interestingly, the NEET rates are higher for 20 to 24 year olds than for 15-19 year olds. Particularly interesting as it doesn’t seem to be due to women having children, as males have higher rates (in both age groups) than females.

      Also, these rates, overall, have increased during the recession for both groups although they appear to be flattening or even decreasing for some groups over the past year.

      The 2008 changes...” – The election??

      Also, why would the recession make “the prior elimination of the youth rate for 18-19 year olds binding“? (Especially given your view that the evidence suggests its reintroduction would help reduce unemployment in that group.)

      Are you trying to excuse the government’s inaction over re-introduction of youth rates? If so, why?

    • mik e 11.3

      The 40 to 54 year olds had the same increase in unemployment as well EC maybe we should introduce youth rates for them as well!National has a very poor record on employment and wages .Right through the nineties wages dropped and their purchasing power . same again under blinglish and Key!

    • Do note that the unemployment rate for 15-19 year olds is 27.5%.”

      The Prime Minister is disputing that figure – or at least what it means.

  12. Alice 12

    To be the son of the Moon Queen you have to be extraordinary special, unique and profoundly inspirational, and you have to be someone who can relate to ‘all’ humans. To achieve such accomplishments you have to live in a ‘state of existence’ that is in harmony not only with your own body, mind and heart (aligned) but you have to open up yourself to the universe and become ‘one’ with it. It is difficult to do if you fight it- and awfully uncomfortable – so you have surrender yourself.
    Basically, to become a King you have to have the correct state of mind, otherwise you will fail.
    Now we aren’t talking about kings of countries who have been born in line to a throne, a king who has never done a damn thing to warrant his exalted and honoured position, these ‘kings’ are not true kings. These are little minds playing games with diamonds and jewels, money and murder, so earthy, so materialistic, so cheap and so small and not at all extraordinary, not at all inspirational, and not at all eternal!

    Now the son of the Moon Queen doesn’t work in petty, small-minded, rickety, materialistic and vulgar fashions, as if. The true King has a style, a state of mind like no other, he rules, he owns, he ‘is’ like no other before him.

    Now you have this disjointed, dislocated, fragmented and fractured mind, it is because you are fussing over many things, many small things, irrelevant petty incidences and pissy little vengeances. You hold onto negative energy like a small-minded neurotic man. A ‘man’ acts in this fashion not a King. Now if you want to remain this way – it is your choice but you will never be the son of the Moon Queen.

    You have move beyond this detrimental existence, it is good to be aware of negative energy, to know it, to master it, to overcome it and to slice it down. Negative energy can help if it improves you, but if it makes you worse you have to cut it down, trampled on it and send it to it’s grave, because to rule as a true King you have to have an extraordinary state of mind, a brilliance that is magnificence and that only comes when you master the art of destroying fears, inner demons, and pissy little hang ups.

    You have to lift yourself up. High.

    I will give you an analogy to what your state of mind should be. Have you ever fired up a V8 motor, if you haven’t maybe you should. If there is one motor that deserves to be on our roads it is the ruling master of all motors- the V8!

    When you fire one up, turn on the ignition, a split second rumbling starts and in a flash this baby is rolling, a persistent constant hum starts flowing, no flappy, fractured or spluttering happening with this baby –it is just a smooth roll, a durable humming- everlasting and constant. You can feel it in the sound and in its power; it just rolls over like a machine, a master, a beast- steady, strong and powerful!

    When you hit the open road, it’s just smooth operations all the way; you slice through the air with purpose and direction. This beast just beats to a constant drum, the faster he goes, the faster the beatings of the drum go- but always in time, always in perfect time – there are no wobbles or hesitations- he just hums nice and steady, an even flow, ruling the road with confidence, complete assurance and an sensational ability. (Mama Mia!!)

    Now when you are behind the wheel of a V8 you know your dealing with something extraordinary special. If someone gives you the finger while on the open road or someone gives you a bit of road rage, do you feel like raging back, nah, why? Because your driving the beast, and you know it, you just fly on by, knowing, knowing you rule this fucking road anyway, so you don’t have too!
    Do you give the fingers back, of course not, you smile and wave and cruise on by, why? Because you’re the fucking King baby, the ruler of the road, no time for pettiness in a V8, no time for bickering and spiteful crap in a V8, the V8 means business! He’s hard, constant, everlasting and sturdy. A machine, a beast, this fucker is designed to go from A to B and from A to Z. He ain’t got no time for pissy little shit. He has direction, a destination to get too, he has purpose! And believe me this fucker always gets to his destination, to the sound of his own drum, constant and steady, calm and collected, even at the fastest most furious speeds! He is designed to get to his destination and believe me HE ALWAYS GETS THERE!

    So if you want to be the son of the Moon Queen you have to up your game, move yourself up- no time for pettiness anymore. Get into the right state of mind- take a V8 for a test drive! – and blast the stereo while your doing it!

    You know you have the ability- so do it.

  13. HC 13

    It was a very, very embarassing day for Don Key and Paula Pudding Belly Bennett today in Parliament!

    Have a look at question time on the Parliament website, or on Parliament TV at 10 pm tonight, if you have time and the chance to do so.

    It was quite delightful to see John Key and Phil Goff throw contradicting figures about youth unemployment at each other, and it was a total delight to see fat Bennett get hammered by Annette King later in the question time hour. No wonder it was the first item on TV3 news tonight.

    We need more days like this, and then – who knows, John Key may get his chance to retire at his holday home on Hawaii after 26 November.

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