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Nats to slash wages

Written By: - Date published: 6:38 pm, June 16th, 2011 - 155 comments
Categories: human rights, minimum wage, wages - Tags:

Patrick Gower has revealed the Nats are poised to announce a policy to reintroduce the youth minimum wage at a rate of about $10 an hour, and potentially make it apply to people in their 20s. Outrageous and a breach of human rights. You should get paid for the work you do. Not your gender. Not your ethnicity. Not your sexuality. Not your age.

National’s vision. A poorer New Zealand with a small slice of the cake going to workers.

But what do you expect from a government that “would love to see wages drop“?

Oh, and before some Rightie says the minimum wage creates unemployment, let’s see what the Department of Labour says:

“The evidence of the impact of increasing the minimum wage on job growth is not strong… The Department therefore considers the impact on job growth to be minimal”

155 comments on “Nats to slash wages ”

  1. Peter Bains 1

    Not a rights issue. Do you have the right for water if lost in the desert? Same answer, no.
    You have a need for a job & water though.
    This will help yoof unemployment come down wrt other groups.
    Bring it on.

  2. Zetetic 2

    oh and you’re completely wrong in the notion that the minimum wage has an impact on unemployment. http://thestandard.org.nz/right-still-attacking-the-minimum-wage/

    Department of Labour admits there’s no proof that minimum wage rises affect unemployment at all. It says “The evidence of the impact of increasing the minimum wage on job growth is not
    strong.” http://www.dol.govt.nz/publications/general/ris-min-wage-review-2010/review-2010.pdf

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    Surely the twenty+ thing is just a scary position that they intend to fall back from.

    But in any case, it’s barking. Next time y’all go through the supermarket, think about the staff and ask if it really makes economic sense to incentivise the business to replace a large number of the current staff with their children.

    It might make some marginal jobs economic, but mostly it will be jobs that currently exist being done for less, by younger people that might otherwise be in training.

    Net result, a less educated workforce, more poverty, downward pressure on wages, and lower demand in the economy.

    Fucking vandals.

    • Zetetic 3.1

      if the best National can do for the country is make a handful of jobs that are uneconomic at $13 per labour/hour but economic at $10 viable, then no wonder we’re stuffed under them.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        I know.

        Might be a few thou. voters out there who don’t remember what a tory government looks like; just found out.

  4. RedLogix 4

    The real purpose is to increase the transfer of wealth from workers to business owners. And not just the low paid either….in this country any income below the median is so miserable that it requires supplementing with some form of state assistance.

    Assistance that is largely taken from the PAYE of those above the median wage.

    And given that low wages are really just a form of subsidy to business owners … the whole system represents a massive transfer of wealth from one class to another. Which goes a long way to explaining why the wage&salary share of GDP in this country is a miserable 42% and falling.

    Parallel with this transfer is another one going on as well, the transfer of wealth from business owners to the financiers and banks…. and ultimately out of the country.

    Which lines up perfectly with a National Party being run by an ex-international merchant banker. No real surprises here.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1


      Nothing I can add to that either. The whole capitalist system is designed to transfer the communities wealth to the rich.

  5. Bob 5

    Couldnt agree more P B , tell my kids if you want to get ahead go west then come back to see us sometime , sad indictment of where we are as a nation . My daughter who is 21 works her buns off for the minimum and they want to put the boot in even deeper ……. F&*k the lot of them ….

    • Blue 5.1

      I’m sure your daughter does work hard for the minimum wage. But have she (or you) ever asked her (herself) why she is working in a minimum wage job? Go to Polytech University and get skills that are worth more than the minimum wage. If you want to tell her something other than “go west”, tell her “don’t settle for mediocre”

      • Zetetic 5.1.1

        a) you know nothing about this woman. So don’t assume
        b) with quarter of a million jobless Kiwis, it’s not like more qualifications is all you need to get a higher paying job
        c) we need cleaners, burger flippers, and the other jobs done for the minimum wage. If not this woman, then someone else. The point is that NO person should be employed for anything less than a liveable wage.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.2

        Blue, do you think it makes sense to incentivise employers to hire youths for min wage jobs?

        • Blue

          Given the choice of the dole versus say $13, yeah it is a good thing to give employers an incentive to hire for example two young people with no skill or experience and pay them as well as train them. The alternative will be to hire none or one at a higher rate and leave those young folk on the dole. I know which makes sense to me and probably to an unemployed youngster who want to get his or her first job. What other incentive do you suggest there is for a private business, when it is the owners sole source of income?

          • Pascal's bookie

            “The alternative will be to hire none or one at a higher rate and leave those young folk on the dole.”

            The alternative in most cases will be that the employer will hire someone older. The government then can do something crazy, like I don’t know, make it a policy priority to see that ‘unemployed youngsters’ are in training.

            “What other incentive do you suggest there is for a private business, when it is the owners sole source of income?”

            Are you seriously asking me what incentives employers have to hire people?

            • KJT

              Employers are already allowed to pay a “training wage”. What they are asking for is to be able to pay two people doing the same job different rates purely on the grounds of age.

              That is a human rights violation.

              • Herodotus

                Funny, Lab did the same 4 years ago. Over 65’s were not allowed to “up” their wages to compensate for that they are now ineligible for Kiwisaver benefits. So from a employee point of view over 65 pay package is 4% less than those under and receiving KS.

                • Zetetic

                  under Labour, Kiwisaver was separate from wages. It was illegal to pay someone more for not being a member of Kiwisaver because that would be a way for employers to incentivise employees not to join so the employer could save on employer contributions.

                  • Herodotus

                    Initially when KS was introduced this was happening. People were grossing there package to take into consideration such. Otherexamples of grossing up relate to Coy cars, coy pensions etc. This was to allow individuals to mix and match their remunineration package. As what was happening, old timers were being paid the same in $ terms as newbies, yet were receiving coy assisted pensions, and thus being”paid” more. I was aware when KS being intro that some coy where plannng to compensate non KS members esp those over 65 i this manner.

              • Not in New Zealand, it ain’t.
                Section 30(2) of the Human Rights Act states:
                Nothing in section 22(1)(b) [which prohibits discrimination in employment – GE] shall prevent payment of a person at a lower rate than another person employed in the same or substantially similar circumstances where the lower rate is paid on the basis that the first-mentioned person has not attained a particular age, not exceeding 20 years of age.

              • sean

                No its not – they aren’t forced to work for that employer

                • Draco T Bastard

                  When you don’t have enough to live on then force is being applied. Especially under NAct governments and their eternal beneficiary bashing.

            • Blue

              Yes, the caveat being to “hire (inexperienced, low-skilled) people”, where the employer carries all the risk. There is no incentive to hire this sort of potential employee, when there are others with experience to choose first. The only incentive is that a lower minimum wage would probably form part of the risk assessment in hiring an inexperienced person. It could sway the balance in their favour. It used to be that way with youth rates. I was certainly paid a minimum youth rate when i started part-time work out of school. Its a risk to hire employees with no skill, and risk mitigation is the corner stone of good management.

            • Lindsey

              Most of the employees on the minimum wage work for big employers. McDonalds etc. Not Mom and Pop small businesses. Same with Youth rates, more profit for McD and KFC.

      • willie maley 5.1.3

        Blue, My daughter just graduated with a Bsc, can’t find a job, any job. She has applied for over one hundred. Now she has had to sign on. She even worked as a volunteer, plenty work there, no funds though. Plenty jobs for her in Australia, but she wants to live in N.Z.

        • Jim Nald

          Wow. BSc is a degree in demand here and in Australia.

          “.. by 2013, New Zealand won’t have enough grads in science, technology, maths and engineering to effectively meet the demands of a knowledge-led economy ..
          .. New Zealand is heading down a similar path to Australia, which has seen dramatic drops in science enrolments.”


          Whatever happened to the wonderful words of soon-to-kiss-goodbye-to-Parliament Minister for Science and Innovation Wayne Mapp:

          Science and Innovation Minister Wayne Mapp said today the Government was fully committed to science and innovation investment to help diversify the economy.
          “Science and innovation are cornerstones in lifting New Zealand’s economic growth.”


          • Lyall

            Then the reasons for that young woman being unemployed are not that there are no jobs, its just she doesn’t get chosen

        • Blue

          I sympathise with your daughters plight, but there are many caveats on “I’ve got a degree” what is the major (is the major in demand in terms of employment)? What were her grades? Is it honours? Does she need a Post Graduate degree to actually work in her field? I know of people who have BA’s and BSC’s in all sorts of fun sounding things, none of which will ever be a job that pays them a salary, unless of course they become teachers. Perhaps your daughter has considered teaching. A Post Grad Dip in Teaching is a one year programme for those with undergraduate degrees. Just a thought, and we do have a demand for more teachers in this country, if the PPTA is to be believed.

          • Zetetic

            you’re blaming the individual for the fact that there are no jobs.

            All the rest is patronising fluff.

            • Lyall

              You clearly can’t read Z, none of that was blaming the individual. The study choices are the choice of the individual, in so much as it was her choice to study that material and stop short of post graduate study. It was more confirming that choices of study are individual and are made as a conscious choice. If people make choices to pursue study where there are no jobs or a demand any more, how is anyone else to “blame” but the individual making the the choice to follow that path. Should jobs be created to soak up all the nonsense BA’s floating around in 15h Century German poetry, or should the person make a choice about whether they want to increase their chances of working not?

      • lprent 5.1.4

        Don’t be silly Blue. From the people I have talked to with unemployed kids recently, it is quite apparent that kids with qualifications are worse off than those without. They’re carrying debt and still can’t get jobs. In fact I would suspect from some of the stories, they seem to be being turned down at an increasing rate for jobs as being too over qualified.

        It would be interesting digging out some stats..

  6. Bazar 6

    “You should get paid for the work you do. Not your gender. Not your ethnicity. Not your sexuality. Not your age”

    So your suggesting someone with no work experience should at a minimum be paid the same as someone with 2-6 years worth experance?

    I guess getting paid based on the quality/performance of your work is irrelevant?

    I also enjoy how you proclaim its a breach of human rights, please enlighten me where in any law, it is enshrined that youth be paid a minimum of $13 NZD an hour.

    There may be issues where employed youth on the lower minimum wage are unable to afford basic living conditions. That is a human right issue, but since welfare comes into play, its inaccurate to just point at youth minimum wage and scream humans right issue.
    In fact it detracts from ACTUAL human right issues, but i guess its a fun term to use when writing up an artical. Rather then going into actual complicated problems that could cause human right issues.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      I also enjoy how you proclaim its a breach of human rights, please enlighten me where in any law, it is enshrined that youth be paid a minimum of $13 NZD an hour.

      That would be the law stating that jobs in NZ should be paid no less than the minimum wage.
      Exempting a class of people from that provision solely on the basis of age is a breach of their human rights.

      Tell me why someone doing the exact same job at the same level of performance should get a lower rate just because they are below some arbitrary age.

      Maybe people with years of experience who can perform better in the role and are more productive at it, should get a pay rise to reflect that fact.

      • Blighty 6.1.1

        This is the relevant Human Rights Act section:

        “22 (1) Where an applicant for employment or an employee is qualified for work of any description, it shall be unlawful for an employer, or any person acting or purporting to act on behalf of an employer… (b) to offer or afford the applicant or the employee less favourable terms of employment … by reason of any of the prohibited grounds of discrimination.

        21 Prohibited grounds of discrimination include: (i) age”

        There’s a partial exemption:

        “30 (2) Nothing in section 22(1)(b) shall prevent payment of a person at a lower rate than another person employed in the same or substantially similar circumstances where the lower rate is paid on the basis that the first-mentioned person has not attained a particular age, not exceeding 20 years of age.”

        which is bullshit. They obviously forgot to update the Human Rights Act when they first removed 18 and 19 year olds from youth rates, then abolished them altogether except for the new entrants rate

      • Bazar 6.1.2

        So the law that enshrines $13nzd is the minimum wage law.
        And if that law was changed, it’d also be breached?
        I see a fault in that chain of logic.

        The minimum wage law isn’t a human right either, its a legal right. Which is why it isn’t breached when it is enacted, altered, or repealed.

        “Tell me why someone doing the exact same job at the same level of performance should get a lower rate just because they are below some arbitrary age. ”

        A few reasons spring to mind, but i’ll be pragmatic rather then idealistic.

        • Pascal's bookie

          So any ‘legal right’ that can be changed by changing legislation, can’t be a ‘human right’?

          You might want to think about that one Einstein.

          • Bazar


            In a nutshell, there are rights given to people by law, those are legal rights
            And there are rights that people are born with, that aren’t created by law, simply protected.

            People are not born with a right to $13 nzd minimum.

            • Pascal's bookie

              And the ‘human rights’ that we have, are they natural rights, or legal ones?

              I’m pretty much down with Hobbes on this stuff. Natural rights are those we have by virtue of our nature. They are things we can do simply because we have the ability to do them.

              ‘Human rights’ are a different kettle of fish. These are normative rights that are asserted and that confer an obligation on others to respect. They are protected by laws, asserted by philosophies, or otherwise constructed through mutual recognition.

              People are not born with a right not to be killed. They are certainly not born with a right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of race, religion, sexual identity or age. these are rights that can only exist through the recognition of them by others. By our recognition of the right not to be murdered, we voluntarily forego our natural right to kill others in their sleep.

              People are not born with a right to $13 nzd minimum, but I never said that they were. I said that we have human right not to be discriminated against on the basis of age*. It is a normative claim.

              *there may be other reasons to pay people less. Like experience or what have you, but when we are talking about the minimum wage, we are at the lower bound already.

              • Bazar

                And the ‘human rights’ that we have, are they natural rights, or legal ones?

                I really don’t know what to make of that question. Human rights and natural rights are synonymous.

                And the natural rights that we have are natural. We have them. We do not need a law to make it lawful to breathe air.
                We do have a law to deal with murder, but that law simply enforces the natural right to life.

                So to answer your question, NZ has a collection of laws that are legal laws, some of them enshrine the natural rights, while others like copyright, grant legal rights.

                “People are not born with a right not to be killed”
                I really don’t know how you could believe that, it’s wrong on so many fundamental levels.
                “By our recognition of the right not to be murdered, we voluntarily forego our natural right to kill others in their sleep”
                It’s not human nature to kill others, we do not eat each other for sustenance, and we do not kill others to improve our breeding rights. It’s just unnatural, and to suggest it’s a human right to kill others, because you like Hobbes definition is both wrong by his standards, and wrong by everyone else’s (except perhaps psychopaths)
                And you don’t trade rights, they are not a currency to be bartered. You have them or you don’t.
                You don’t give up the right to kill others, in return for the right not to be killed. That doesn’t even make sense.

                “I said that we have human right not to be discriminated against on the basis of age”
                I gave the $13 NZD example as the easiest way to point out that it was a legal right, and not a natural right that grants it. Seems it was an example easily understood.
                “I said that we have human right not to be discriminated against on the basis of age*. It is a normative claim.”
                And yet we have a record high youth unemployment rate since we removed youth pay rates.
                I see in this thread Idealism vs Practicality. And we are practically screwing over our youth for this idealism.

                I’d like to go into more detail with this, but i’ll be out visiting friends and co this weekend, as well as badly needing sleep.

                • felix

                  “I see in this thread Idealism vs Practicality. “

                  I agree and it’s pissing me off. So let’s take a practical look at these “natural” rights for a moment, and if they’re not created by law then let’s pretend there are no laws and never have been.

                  What does this “right to life” consist of?

                  Where does it come from?

                  I mean to say, it’s fairly clear that people can be killed and can die (and can be eaten btw), so what does this “right” actually entail, in a practical sense, in a world without law?

                  How is it applied? And by who?

                  Are you absolutely certain you’re not asserting a supernatural right?

                  These are practical matters and must be addressed. If “rights” are to be used in argument then we must know what the term actually means.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Along side Felix’s questions, I’ll ask one other.

                  You claim that human rights and natural rights are synonymous, and that natural rights are the ones we are born with.

                  If we are born with these rights, then why do we need laws to ‘protect’ them? We either have them, or we do not.

                  ‘Protection’ of a right by law, is another way of saying that we have laws that confer obligations on people to act in certain ways with regard to others. When we say that ‘I have a right to do this’, we are saying that ‘you do not have a right to stop me’ even though you might have been born with the ability to do so. If I agree that you have a right to do something, I am accepting that my ability to prevent you is something I will forego.

                  On Hobbes:


                  The basic idea is that without laws establishing rights, we are left with the rights of nature, which stem only from the facts of what humans are. In a society governed by those rights, we would be in a state similar to war.

                  Hobbes imagines a state of nature in which each person is free to decide for herself what she needs, what she’s owed, what’s respectful, right, pious, prudent, and also free to decide all of these questions for the behavior of everyone else as well, and to act on her judgments as she thinks best, enforcing her views where she can. In this situation where there is no common authority to resolve these many and serious disputes, we can easily imagine with Hobbes that the state of nature would become a “state of war”, even worse, a war of “all against all”.

                  That common authority needn’t be a king or the church. It can, and should (normative claim), be democratic. But I think that Hobbes has it over his critics still. Without some sort of mechanism for establishing rights, life would be poor, nasty, brutish, and short. And if that is true, if we need to voluntarily establish our basic normative rights, then we can’t be said to be ‘born’ with them in anything other than a metaphorical sense.

                  So to repeat the question, if we are born with human rights, then why do we need laws to ‘protect’ them?

                  • Bazar

                    I’m not sure this will be read. But i’ll give a quick reply

                    So to repeat the question, if we are born with human rights, then why do we need laws to ‘protect’ them?

                    Because huaman rights aren’t inviolable, just like legal rights.
                    Theres little stopping someone commiting murder, just like theres little stopping copyright infringment.

                    The law works to enforce respect of those rights.
                    I’ll add as well, as i think you missed it.

                    “Protection’ of a right by law, is another way of saying that we have laws that confer obligations on people to act in certain ways with regard to others.”

                    That’d be one way of looking at it, but i feel it’d be more accurate to say that it confers responsibility for peoples actions.

                    Without law enforcing rights, there’d be no responsiblity when they were violated.

                    “When we say that ‘I have a right to do this’, we are saying that ‘you do not have a right to stop me’ even though you might have been born with the ability to do so. If I agree that you have a right to do something, I am accepting that my ability to prevent you is something I will forego”

                    Just because you have an ability to stop someone, doesn’t give you the right to stop them.
                    Having an ability, doesn’t give you the right to use it freely.
                    To phrase it another way, i have the right ot have dine in tommorrow for dinner, even if you had the power to stop me from dining in, doesn’t mean you have the right.

            • Colonial Viper

              People are not born with a right to $13 nzd minimum.

              Correct they are not.

              Society chooses the standards it wishes to live by.

              And I want a society where someone doing a fair weeks work will earn a fair weeks living wage.

              You on the other hand are working against your own neighbours and their children. Stand up proud why don’t you.

        • Puddleglum

          ““Tell me why someone doing the exact same job at the same level of performance should get a lower rate just because they are below some arbitrary age. ”

          A few reasons spring to mind, but i’ll be pragmatic rather then idealistic.

          So, Bazar, you’re argument amounts to the fact that young people should be discriminated against in law because employers generally discriminate against them anyway?

          Have you ever thought that, for many minimum wage jobs, young people are likeliest to be doing them early in their career? That is, it may be a first stepping stone, a job they take while they are in training or study and a job they may well have plenty of youthful enthusiasm for?

          When I was young, I worked in factories, warehouses, apple picking, on gardening gangs, kitchen handing, etc.. I like to think that I was reliable and productive. In fact, I was often more reliable and productive than people who had been working at the job for years and for whom that kind of work was all there was ever going to be. They had learnt that – as Adam Smith pointed out – if a worker isn’t paid enough then he or she compensates by not working as much. I hadn’t learnt that lesson (I was a naive exception to Smith’s insight). Yet, those older than me always were paid more.

          There’s no reason why being young should mean that a person is discriminated against in work. If you’re into discriminating against individuals based on their group membership, there’s just as much reason to discriminate against someone older rather than someone younger.

          Whatever happened to that great right wing aspiration – meritocracy?

          • Bazar

            “So, Bazar, you’re argument amounts to the fact that young people should be discriminated against in law because employers generally discriminate against them anyway?”

            In the worst possible light, then yes i suppose so.

            “Have you ever thought that, for many minimum wage jobs, young people are likeliest to be doing them early in their career? That is, it may be a first stepping stone, a job they take while they are in training or study and a job they may well have plenty of youthful enthusiasm for? ”

            All the time, which is why i’d advocate for youth rates?
            I want to give them that opportunity to have that job, to take it as a stepping stone onto greater and greater things.

            I don’t want them to be stuck looking for a job, wasting some of the most important years of their life on the unemployment benefit because no one will hire them.
            I hate the idea of other people telling them they can’t be hired at suitable rates because that’d be against their human rights.
            And i hate the fact that we have such a large number of unemployed youth, and most people seem to gloss over that fact, like its meaningless.


            And i’ll add minimum wage is crap. You pay people crap, you get crap results. I can agree with that sentiment.
            In fact I’ve read studies showing that the more you pay your workers, the better their productivity; however that only applies to mechanical work. For mental work, research has shown other results, however that’s going off topic.

        • Frank Macskasy

          “…“Tell me why someone doing the exact same job at the same level of performance should get a lower rate just because they are below some arbitrary age. ”

          A few reasons spring to mind, but i’ll be pragmatic rather then idealistic.


          That seems very strange logic, Bazar. What you’re telling us is that an employer, given two candidates; most other things being equal; one requiring an Adult Minimum Wage, and the other at a cheaper Youth Minimum Wage will hire…? Who?

          Of course; the employer will hire the cheaper applicant. It stands to reason.

          But the point is this: the Employer would have hired one of them anyway.

          No additional jobs have been created.

          It would have been precisely the same end result had both of them been paid Adult Rates.

          Which means that implementing Youth Rates is not designed to create new jobs. The agenda here is to lessen the Employers’ labour bill. It will also mean that (some) employers may terminate the employment of adult workers, and replace them with Youth Rate workers.

          Implementing Youth Rates doesn’t create jobs. It simply shifts the deck chairs around the Titanic.

          As per usual, this government is doing nothing to create jobs. They are simply tinkering around the edges and hoping/praying hat their precious Market God will deliver the results.

          In the meantime, New Zealanders continue to flock to Australia for better opportunities. And jobs.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Exactly Frank.

          • Bazar

            That’s a good point, but it’s not one i haven’t thought about.
            I want youth employed for a number of reasons, in part because they are the future.

            When i lost my job, i started looking for work, but had trouble finding any.
            I started up my own business as a part time job, and now its generating enough money that i don’t need to seek any work. I’m self-employed. In a few years i’ll be hiring staff/partners to help.

            I wouldn’t have even dared to do that fresh out of uni. No contacts, no life experience, I’d of stayed on the dole until i got some crap job answering phones, and got experience under my belt.

            I suppose I’d say the life-skills of youth are rather fragile.
            But that’s not very good evidence, anecdotal evidence never is.

            So how about this:
            “Study after study reveals that there are long-term career benefits to working as a teenager and that these benefits go well beyond the pay that these youths receive. A study by researchers at Stanford found that those who do not work as teenagers have lower long-term wages and employability even after 10 years. A high-wage society can only come by making workers more productive, and by destroying starter jobs the minimum wage may reduce long-term earnings.

            Another recent study across 17 OECD nations, also by Messrs. Neumark and Wascher, found a highly negative association between higher minimum wages and youth employment rates. But it also concluded that having a starter wage, well below the minimum, counteracts much of this negative jobs impact.”


            And it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest, you get a youth busting their guts to do work, and he can’t find any for months. What is that going to teach them?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      So your suggesting someone with no work experience should at a minimum be paid the same as someone with 2-6 years worth experance?

      Nope, someone with more experience should get paid more due to the experience but if two people started the same day then they should get paid the same as they have the same experience.

      There may be issues where employed youth on the lower minimum wage are unable to afford basic living conditions. That is a human right issue, but since welfare comes into play, its inaccurate to just point at youth minimum wage and scream humans right issue.

      So you support taxpayers subsidising failed businesses?*

      * A business that can’t cover the expenses of its employees is obviously a failure.

      • Bazar 6.2.1

        So you support taxpayers subsidising failed businesses?*

        Its somewhat off topic, but I do actually.

        I’d rather subside a failing business that keeps people employed, then subsidizing all the people involved with the unemployment benifit; That is as long as the costs/benfit is sufficently high.

      • Blue 6.2.2

        A business that has to pay more to an employee than that employee returns to the business, is not viable, certainly, so are you suggesting that the business should then shut down, and make all other staff members unemployed to prove a point? This would increase unemployment, surely.

        • Draco T Bastard

          A business that has to pay more to an employee than that employee returns to the business…

          Talk about twisting what I said. As you’re a RWNJ with severe comprehension capabilities I’ll clarify it for you.

          Everybody has living expenses. These expenses are required to keep the person fit and healthy enough to be able to go to work (as well as all the other benefits for the individual and society of being fit and healthy) and, on top of those, they also have expenses that going to work puts on top of those necessary expenses. If a business can’t pay an employee enough to cover all those expenses then it is a business that has failed.

          so are you suggesting that the business should then shut down

          I’m not, no, the free-market ideology is.

          This would increase unemployment, surely.

          We’ve had 40 hour weeks in NZ since forever and yet our productivity has increased massively. That being true I’m not concerned with unemployment as it should already be far higher. I’m more concerned with it not being as high as it should be. The fact that we still have poverty and have to work even longer hours now proves that the current socio-economic system is a failure as it’s obviously not providing us with what we want.

          The ZeitGeist doco that I’ve been linking lately has an economy in it that only requires 3% employment. It’s an economy that’s actually based in reality rather than the delusional free-market. An economy that actually works.

    • Zetetic 6.3

      “So your suggesting someone with no work experience should at a minimum be paid the same as someone with 2-6 years worth experance?”

      No. I’m all for experience based pay. Experience isn’t on my list. You fucken idiot.

      • Bazar 6.3.1

        > “No. I’m all for experience based pay. Experience isn’t on my list. You fucken idiot.”

        So are you against inexperienced pay?

        You own a business, you want someone to man the casher or whatever menial task that needs staffing.

        Two people come forward, both have high school educations.
        – Adam has 18 months experience stacking crates
        – Bob has 5 months unemployment benefit

        Who do you hire?

        Oh right, this is NZ where our employers randomly hire anyone as long as they meet minimum standards, and that prior experience and/or life-skills count for nothing.

        Obviously Bob gets the job 50% of the time in this scenario, and we don’t have a youth unemployment problem.

        Moving on… Since i’m a fucking idiot, i’ll vet your article rather then let it slide:
        > “Oh, and before some Rightie says the minimum wage creates unemployment,
        >let’s see what the Department of Labour says:
        > “The evidence of the impact of increasing the minimum wage on job growth is not strong…
        >The Department therefore considers the impact on job growth to be minimal””

        I’m not sure if you meant to say “Raising the minimum wage creates unemployment”, or if you meant that minimum wage itself was detremental to employment.

        I’m going to assume you’re not totally retarded, and that you meant “Raising”
        Which case I’ll draw some key phrases from the report that you so kindly left out:

        Starting with your TOTAL BASTARDIZATION of:
        “The Department therefore considers the impact on job growth to be minimal (less than 0.1% of job growth) for Options 1, 2 and 3”
        Being a reference to a hourly net change of 0 (0%), 25c (2%), and 75c (5.9%).

        “It is not straightforward to estimate the impact on unemployment.”

        “Previous New Zealand research found that firms respond in a number of ways to minimum wage increases. The most common response was to reduce wage relativities across their staff. Other responses include reducing the number of hours of work offered to staff, tightening employment policy, not replacing workers who resign, attempting to increase productivity, attempting to reduce costs, raising prices where possible, reducing profits and business closure.”

        “Research from the United Kingdom concludes that if there is some adverse employment effect from minimum wage raises, it must be of a small and policy-irrelevant magnitude. Australian research indicates that the employment effects of minimum wages are not clear cut”

        • Bazar

          Feel free to add any of those other quotes into your main article, or update your department of labour quote to reflect that it has no bearing on a minimum wage ajustment (let alone one targeted at youth) of 24%

          You can thank me later, or alternatively you could live in denial of facts and continue to misquote the findings of the department of labour to try and prove a point, knowing full well that your spreading misinfomation.

          • Colonial Viper

            Bazar complaining about spreading misinformation lol

            Here’s some information: National is creating a labour market race to the bottom. Where even our university graduates will be lucky to make $13/hr.

            Good on you for campaigning against the prospects of your kids and grandkids Bazar.

            Keep your passport up to date so you can visit them in Perth eh.

            • Bazar

              Passports, i’m multi-national.

              “Good on you for campaigning against the prospects of your kids and grandkids Bazar.”

              Yes, i activatly campain to redistrbute their future earnings into the pockets of my masters.

              I do this by:
              – Pointing out faults in peoples logic
              – Providing an opposing point of view to some articals of interest.
              – Backing up my point of view with referances and factual evidence

              Please help me Viper, please teach me the ways where i can believe anything i’m told so long as its written with lots of red ink, then lambast anyone who disagrees with the ink with empty, meaningless statements that aren’t even on-topic.

      • Descendant Of Smith 6.3.2

        The point of the minimum wage is to set a level at which you pay someone with no skills or experience.

        I would suggest you pay the minimum wage to that person and pay more to someone with 2-6 years skills and experience. It seems you want the skills and experience but don’t want to pay for it.

        That just reinforces the point that you don’t wish to pay workers fror their skills – you just want to pay them what you can get away with.

        There are some pretty crap businesses out there if they aren’t making enough money to pay more than the minimum wage (either that or they are taking excessive profits).

        • Bazar

          “The point of the minimum wage is to set a level at which you pay someone with no skills or experience.”

          No it doesn’t. You just want to believe that.

          There is nothing about minimum wage being an starting point for hireing someone. Its quite possible to keep someone on minimum wage for years.

          The only purpose of minimum wage is to create a lowest possible income boundary for work. To help protect workers from appalling working and pay conditions.

          There is nothing about it legally being a starting point for pay conditions. Although socially thats how we see it.

          • Descendant Of Smith

            It’s a minimum level of pay for which a good employer would pay someone who has little or no skills or qualifications.

            Good employers will start people off on this amount and will increase the pay as they develop skills and knowledge and the employer invests in training.

            Bad employers will pay all their staff minimum wage except themselves and take more and more profit or alternatively be running a piss poor business that shouldn’t exist.

            If a business has to owe it’s existence only if it pays low wages it’s a crap business and is taking more than it is providing. It is a drain on society and New Zealand will not prosper while we have businesses that pay NZer’s a pittance.

            I’ve seen my children suffer from much worse working conditions and pay rates than existed when I started work and I’ve seen governments have to pick up the tab for low wages paid to people with children through WFF. I see workers losing their jobs over and over again from poorly managed companies, theft of money and excessive profit taking my managers. I’ve watched my kids get laid off from jobs the week before Christmas in the same week the executives got new BMW’s or given the heave ho because they asked why their PAYE hadn’t been paid to IRD.

            Setting a minimum wage at a liveable amount and letting hundreds of crap businesses go to the wall may not be a bad thing.

            All the energy and effort going into propping them up may be better utilised in creating businesses with some real wealth generating capability.

            Workers don’t get much choice – e.g. today’s announcement in Waipukurau – why should employers who aren’t profitable in the current system have that system adjusted to prop them up. It seems to be we’ve been doing that since the 80’s and all we have is more half-assed businesses -not less.

            Ids also ensure that anyone on a salary had a minimum level set at 120% of the minimum wage because some employers get around the minimum wage requirements by putting their workers on salaries and ensure that it was compulsory that all employment contracts had an annual wage review based on competence and performance. Many contracts it seems to be simply at the whim of the employer as to any pay increases and I’ve seen people who only ever get a wage increase when the minimum wage moves.

            • Bazar

              A well written post, and what you say may be very well true.

              There are employers who target youth because they can be paid less, and although that feels like a terrible thing, the reality is without such employers, it seems we end up with a high youth unemployment rate.

              So a necessary evil perhaps.

              • Colonial Viper


                Put those “employers” out of business.

                If employers aren’t using business models which can generate sufficient revenues to pay workers decently, then they should clear out of the marketplace and make room for competent business people who can.

            • davidc

              ” given the heave ho because they asked why their PAYE hadn’t been paid to IRD.”

              They worked for UNITE?

              • Descendant Of Smith

                No they worked for someone who has 5 or 6 different businesses and several trusts. One of those people I’m supposed to aspire to be I guess.

                Three months later it still hasn’t been paid. He was also shortchanged in his wages .

                He moved town and away from family for this job and had to get himself set up away from family and this is how he gets treated by someone who would appear to have the means to pay him but is simply a jerk.

                Fortunately the place he stays has kindly given him some work even thuogh they didn’t have to. There are some good employers but the above guy is not one of them.

                When my other son was laid off before Christmas (they decided with less than a weeks notice) to shut down for six weeks over Christmas they didn’t give a toss about how he was supposed to survive. It the few months he had worked for them, a national chain, he had worked extra hours, come in on his days off, re-organised some of how they worked to be more efficient (i.e. more productive) and made several other suggestions for improvement that were being considered. He had voluntarily bought shares into the company and so on.

                See he was committed to working for them for a while but the obligations certainly aren’t reciprocated. This too is a national firm.

                Mu kids have a good work ethic and the ratio of good employes to bad have probably been about 1 out of 5.

                That they stay mainly positive despite the poor hands they have sometimes been dealt can only go so long. That’s the bit that is most worrying. At what point if they keep being treated like this to they give up.

                These are kids with more knowledge and skill than I ever had at the same age and their are many out there like them.

                Anyway DavidC I look forward to your comments about the employers doing this to my and other kids. I also don’t believe that UNITE told their workers to shove it – your just being anti-union and facile.

                And if not the union to protect my children from employers like these then who – these are young kids that you don’t give a toss about.

  7. Jenny 7

    A win win for the rich.

    The business lobby will not be the only ones to gain. Youth wages will make tertiary education more elitist, only available to the well off.

    Students who have to do cleaning or other already low paid service jobs to support them in their studies, will find it much harder.

    Of course students with monied parents won’t have a problem.

    Since the business lobby and the well off are Key’s target constituency maybe this policy will be gain for the Nats as well.

    • Bob 7.1

      Thats what my youngest daughter said when we were talking about this issue , she is 18 before the election and will be talking this thru with her friends , she does want to go to Uni but is disgusted that she may receive less than what she does now for part time work after school .

  8. Bored 8

    Hate to be a party pooper but….with an economy in decline permanently from resource depletion etc a drop in real wages is inevitable. The question is not whether wages should fall, because in real terms they will. It is how we equitably share the decline, how we keep employers and businesses running and people employed in the face of this adversity?

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Well yes… if the pie is shrinking then everyone should logically share in the reduction.

      But that’s not what’s going to happen is it?

      What will happen is that the powerful and privileged will exert their influence to ensure they hang onto the bloated portion they already have, leaving far less for the rest of us. Another way of putting this is that in declining economies, income inequality always gets worse.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      Watched the latest ZeitGeist yet? They have good ideas on how to run a sustainable resource based economy rather than the ponzi scheme we have now. Would only require 3% employment – good job it doesn’t use money and has removed the fictitious dependency on capitalists that the right, including Labour, seem to think we should have.

    • Zetetic 8.3

      I don’t agree. We’re still a massively wealthy society. Problem is that wealth and share of production is highly concentrated.

      Say GDP goes down 20%.

      You could make everyone lose 20%. Or you could make just the richest 13% lose 50% and everyone loses nothing. ie. 40% of the country’s income goes to the richest 13%.

      Halve their incomes and 87% of people aren’t worse off, and the top 13% are still on at least the median income.

      Just a numbers exercise. But the point is illustrated.

      • Zetetic 8.3.1

        or, you could halve the incomes of the poorest 73%.

        Choices, choices.

      • Herodotus 8.3.2

        Real bright idea that … NOT.
        As many on the rich list are not paying the top tax bracket. Yet many PAYE workers who have what appears to be a moderate to healty income pay the max tax that they can. No ability to offset their income with rorts.
        But what is a common theme here, abuse the PAYE worker.

        • Zetetic

          I’m not sure which part of ‘numbers exercise’ you didn’t understand.

          Also, I didn’t say anything about tax.

          • Herodotus

            “Halve their incomes and 87% of people aren’t worse off, and the top 13% are still on at least the median income”- By referring to incomes here, tax that accompanies the discussions..
            You refer to the top 13% of incomes here – and I was responding that many of the real wealthy do not even attain the top 13% of income yet they are in the top 1% of wealth.
            My comment perhaps missed by you was that the PAYE worker has NO abilty to manage their income and yet all PAYE workers pay the max tax that their income dictates. Many whos weath blooms are able to record min income, and yet we have this fixation regarding PAYE tax as the solution to govt spending problems. At least Nat has widened the definition of income. Pity yet again that Lab missed this, just with their lack of ability to close tax loopholes. Makes me wonder sometimes who Lab is represeting- their words say one thing and yet their actions support the est. wealthy.

      • burt 8.3.3

        Or you could make just the richest 13% lose 50%

        What friggin planet did you wake up on this morning. Excellent, make the 14% highest earners the highest earners… do that a few times and you will achieve your completely ideological nonsense position of everyone earning about the same. Gee, I wonder why people stopped trying that over and over again… Oh, that’s right we learnt to write and over many generations we noticed that it had been tried over and over by previous generations and although it’s appealing to more admirable aspects of human nurture it’s a complete financial disaster every time.

        • Draco T Bastard

          burt, you idiot, the GFC came about because we kept giving the rich more and more of our wealth. The solution isn’t to give them any more but to take it back off them.

        • Zetetic

          numbers exercise

  9. Sinner 9

    Air NZ is advertising one-way Auckland->Sydney airfares for $218 this sunday.

    Want a minimum wage of $20 NZ Dollars per hour?

    Want to catch Australia?

    Catch a plane.

    • infused 9.1

      Yeah cause they have just had their biggest decline in employment in years. It’s -4000 jobs for last month. Oh wow, I’m going to be right again…

    • Jim Nald 9.2

      Under Nats, we’re better off. In Australia.

      • VanHuizen 9.2.1

        Then go to Australia; you won’t have anywhere near as many dole bludgers as you have in this country – thanks to NZ Labour.

        • Zetetic

          226% increase in dole numbers since National took office.

          Benefit numbers down 100,000 under Labour.

          • infused

            Yeah, you must have missed the recession then Zetetic. Also the fact that Labour killed off the min wage and increased youth un-employment.

            • Zetetic

              VH claimed that Labour increases dole numbers. History says otherwise.

              You present evidence that abolishing youth rates increased unemployment. Department of Labour says there’s no conclusive evidence that min. wage hurts employment.

              • Bazar

                You need to learn to read the report you’re so fond of waving about.

                There was plenty of evidence that minimum wage changes affected employment.
                The quote you totaly bastardized was them refering to 3 options, ranging from a 0% to a 6% increase in the minimum wage.

                So using that bastardized quote claiming that labour says there no conclusive evidence that minimum wage hurts employment is bullshit.

                • Colonial Viper

                  National wants a nation of wage serfs. Apparently its a “competitive advantage” to pay NZ workers shit.

                  Thanks for campaigning against your own people Bazar.

        • Jim Nald

          Go to Australia, aye? That would be admitting failure of John Key’s gap-closing promise.

  10. Peter 10

    So living costs keep going up, we are told to expect wage increases from now on yet they plan to lower the minimum wage for youth.

  11. Graham 11

    Wake up sheeple!
    These ^%$wits MUST go!

    • VanHuizen 11.1

      No thanks; Labour getting in will result in getting a job in the first place becoming increasingly an impossibility, which isn’t attractive for a student like me.

      • Zetetic 11.1.1

        59,000 more unemployed since Labour left office.

        422,000 more jobs under Labour.

        Do have any evidence to back up any of the wild claims you make?

        If you don’t. Be prepared to look silly often.

      • McFlock 11.1.2

        so in some circumstances people might be unemployed due tto factors beyond their control – i.e. despite all the thrift, hard work and personal responsibility they might have?
        We should probably have humane benefit levels then.

  12. VanHuizen 12

    What’s more evil; to tell people to get onto the dole, or tell people to work for at least $10 an hour?

    • Zetetic 12.1

      false dichotomy.

      There is no evidence that cutting youth wages to $10 an hour would increase employment.

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      To tell people to work for $10 per hour when it costs $15 per hour to go to work.

      • DavidC 12.2.1

        It costs you $600 a week to go to work? huh? you comute from Mars?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Total expenses of living and you also didn’t take out the tax. No matter what the RWNJs think, living is expensive and getting more so.

          • DavidC

            you said “cost $16″ you didnt say ” $18.75 less tax”

            • DavidC

              Sorry! $15! but its still $18.75 less tax!

              • felix

                Quibble over the cents if you must but Draco’s point stands.

                It costs a lot of money just to turn up to a job every day with clean clothes, nutritious food in your belly, a warrant and reg on your car, gas in the tank, your kids sorted and to just generally have all your shit organised so you can logistically manage all this stuff in the few hours a day that you’re not working or sleeping.

                If you’ve always (or for a while) had that sort of personal infrastructure running smoothly it’s easy to take it all for granted, but try being unemployed and then starting a low-wage job.

                With no savings and no assets and no credit.

                $15 an hour might net you just enough to keep the show on road. Minimum wage doesn’t. $10 doesn’t even come close.

                You’re expecting people with nothing to actually go backwards.

                Vote National Ltd™ for a brighter future.

  13. Dan1 13

    When I first read the blog, I thought it was satire.

  14. Irascible 14

    This is part of the Key-led Bill English’s economic logic. Lower the rates of pay for those aged 20 and below and you raise the average rate of pay across New Zealand. This then allows the corrupt PR spin of the Key-led NACT govt to declare that everyone is better off because the average rate of pay has gone up.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      Um, no. It only works when you make someone unemployed, because then they aren’t counted as being ‘paid’ at all. Eg:

      Average of 5, 10, 15 = 10.

      1. Make the person of 5 unemployed and take the average of everyone left: 10, 15 = 12.5.
      2. Reduce the wage of the person on 5 and take the average: 2.5, 10, 15 = 9.16.

      Only in case #1 has the average increased, from 10 to 12.5. In case 2, it decreases from 10 to 9.16.

  15. Sookie 15

    In the late 90’s when I was delaying entering the workforce for as long as possible as I had no interest in being paid shit and treated like shit, we had 10% unemployment and people paid young wage slaves as many magic beans as they wanted, which was usually sod all. Didn’t make any difference to unemployment then and it won’t now. What a pack of morally bankrupt, stupid bastards.

  16. HC 16

    Just as well as many people are rightly opposed to this, how many do actually take action and do something for this not to happen? I am totally disillusioned with NZ, being a migrant that came her over 30 years ago. This people in NZ is a most gutless, ignorant and self serving crowd with no ability for long term thinking and planning. That is exactly the main problem for NZ. We have people vote in or out one government after another, but they have only short term goals for their own survival and interests. There is no long term thinking that is evident. It has been like this since I came to this country, and despite of so many politicians trying to compare NZ to leading OECD or EU countries, it is in reality a total basket case at the very bottom end of the ladder. Who believes in primary production of agricultural and other products, low paid tourism and educational services to maintain the living standards of a country that wants to be 1st world but is anything but? You have all lost the bloody plot years ago, believe in politicians that will never deliver, are self serving and betray the future of NZ. So we keep discussing nonsensical issues again and again. The answer is: No wage gains without assertion by workers (collectively), but also NOT without increased productivity. So how is that going to work? Maybe look at economies where workers, government and responsible employers work together to achieve such improvements. In NZ we seem to be totally unable to even think that for. It is and remains to be a basket case void of ideas, real plans, sensible policies and so forth. This government is amongst the worst I have seen in NZ and only deserves to be thrown out a.s.a.p. in the coming national election.

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      I think part of the problem is simply the geography of the country compared to the population.

      NZ has a smaller population than San Francisco. Yet we have many thousands of kilometres of roads, hospitals, local governments, etc. It’s all a huge overhead for the number of people actually served.

      Other countries in the OECD generally have much higher population densities, and so gain efficiency simply from their size.

      • HC 16.1.1

        Lanthanide – with all respect, but the Scandinavian Countries have population sizes hardly a bit higher than NZ, there are also other countries of comparable size, and yet they make a hell of a lot more progress for themselves than NZ does. So they do NOT simply trust in a future of producing more milk powder, more cheese, more meat, more tourists (many are just back packers) and foreign students to develop the economy. Finland has Nokia, Sweden has other enterprises, Norway has oil, gas and also large investments in alternative energy and so forth, Denmark in heavily into alternative energy generation and modern tech, Germany is now opting out of nuclear energy to go down a very modern, alternative way, where is NZ going? It goes on in believing in old tech, old energy, old lifestyles (quarter acre sections), dumbed down education (no investment of substance in technical and scientific education) and believes it can survive by accommodating home stayers and boarders from East Asia to learn English of a secon rate quality here – while enjoying the odd visit to sheep farms. How dumb can you get, how backward and primitive. I was told by a Korean student staying with me that he was shocked about how many Asians were living here. He felt like this was Hong Kong rather than NZ and felt that it was not the country he had expected to visit. Apart from that many home stayers felt ripped off, learned little English and could not connect to local people here. NZ is a total disaster, that is my experience, but sadly NZers do not get this, because you choose to self delude yourselves and live in some kind of LaLaLand.

        • ropata

          HC, a friend of mine just came back from a year in Cambodia with the exact opposite conclusion. NZ is a pretty special place. IF all you care about is climbing the OECD ladder and comparisons against the richest countries in Europe then we don’t look so hot. But how many earthquakes have they had recently? How much oil do they produce for themselves? If NZ faces reality and deals with it according to its egalitarian values of the past we can make this a better place rather than just moaning.

          • HC

            Well, Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in Asia and the world, so if we compare NZ with that country, it is not surprising that NZ comes out on top. Norway is an oil exporting country – of course of a larger scale than NZ, but it invests what it earns in other areas to make sure it has a healthy and strong economy in future. They think long term. The other Scandinavian countries import oil and products made from it. Apart from this NZ was not developing much before the earthquakes. So we cannot blame the earthquakes in Christchurch for the problems we face.

        • Lanthanide

          I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but the Scandinavian Countries are right next to massive export markets. We’re not.

          • HC

            When Japan rebuilt its economy after the war and started exporting products they were then also far away from their main export markets. So they succeeded despite of the distance. We buy Nokia phones, and although these are likely to have been made in China, the head offices and main facilities of that company are based in Finland. We can buy Danish beer (Carlsberg Elephant Beer) at supermarkets all over the world, so Danish companies (some also are heavily into regenerative energy) do export across the globe, not just to Europe. Of course distance can be a disadvantage, yet when NZ Kiwifruit are sold cheaper in Germany than here locally, when NZ butter and cheese are cheaper in export markets we export to than these products are here, then it appears to be possible to manage the distance and sell products. More value added products could and should be made here, whether from agricultural or other primary products. That would improve wages, incomes and living standards. Instead NZ is exporting skilled people finding no opportunities to get anywhere here, while we sell primary products to China and other countries, where they are then processed (value added). It does not make sense, no matter what excuses are used!

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      You have all lost the bloody plot years ago…

      1984 to be precise, although, I do have to admit that we didn’t have much choice. The previous Muldoon government had nearly bankrupted the country so we had to get rid of that but the Lange government then dumped any and all social responsibility by brining in the delusional neo-liberal free-market system. Short term thinking to match the “market” seems to be have been the mode since.

      No wage gains without assertion by workers (collectively), but also NOT without increased productivity.

      Increased productivity is good but it only results in unemployment and lower wages unless the market is increased at the same time. An increase in the market means that we have to produce more product which extracts more of our limited resources and causes more environmental damage. On top of that, most of the increased returns from the productivity will go to the parasites at the top.

      In NZ we seem to be totally unable to even think that for.

      That’s because our governments were stupid enough to leave it to the market rather than looking for a vision that we all supported and then planning to get there.

      The present paradigm is unsustainable and will not improve our society in any way. In fact it’ll make it worse for most while having a few (less than 1%) with far more than they could ever use. We need to come up with something better. Say a local economy that provides everything we need and, as productivity increases reducing the basic workforce, move those people into R&D, and/or Arts & culture rather than giving the wealth to the few. Probably a good idea to encourage greater participation in government as well as we’ll also be able to decrease how much people have to work.

      • Lyall 16.2.1

        “The previous Muldoon government had nearly bankrupted the country” Yes by creating the most socialist country in the Pacific basin. Protections, subsidies, open slather welfare, who are you kidding, Muldoon turned us into Poland, and then Labour made a good start intruning it around, but lost their nerve.

        • Steve Withers

          Muldoon installed National Superannuation and Supplementary Minimum Payments for farmers. Socialist all right…but you have the wrong targets in your sights. The present government is subsidising farmers again for even MORE money by letting them off the hook for emissions credits / payments and not procesuting them for wrecking river eco-systems with illegal effluent.

          Social welfare is cheap good value compared to the resources National (and Labour before them) wastes on farmers and allows farmers to waste. I know they see themselves as the “real producers”…but could they it within the law, please, and stop pillaging the commons for private gain?

          • KJT

            Muldoon borrowed into bankruptcy at the behest of the IMF when he could have used local bond issues or fiat currency. For election bribes to his voters.

            National is borrowing from overseas to put us into increasing debt for election bribes to their voters.

            At least Muldoon had a vision for NZ. If oil prices had continued to rise as predicted he may well have been a hero for think big. The projects certainly made a lot of money for the private companies they were given away to in the 80’s.

  17. R 17

    actually, JK’s NAct and their UF cronies – Peter Dunne I am LOOKING AT YOU and NOT in a good way – have already done their worst in terms of contributing to mass youth unemployment, by generating/enacting tax legislation which makes the employment/taxation of young people virtually impossible for employers to do legally unless they calculate their tax obligations manually, with a great deal of effort (if not soothsaying)…

    to wit:
    (copied and pasted from section 6.2.1 of the IRD’s Payroll Specification guide, found here: http://www.ird.govt.nz/resources/3/e/3e9f9200451ef0e99334bb7747109566/payroll-spec-2012-v1.pdf):

    6.2.1 Employing a Student PAYE calculation rules
    Primary and secondary school students
    If primary or secondary school students work for you, tax them as follows:
    Weekly earnings of less than $45:
    School children whose total earnings from all employment are less than $45 a week don’t have
    to complete an IR 330. Don’t deduct PAYE from their earnings or include them on your
    Employer monthly schedule (IR 348). However, you still have to keep wage records for them.
    Weekly earnings more than $45 a week but expect to earn less than $2340 annually:
    Schoolchildren whose total earnings are less than $2,340 a year don’t need to fill in an IR 330.
    Don’t deduct PAYE, KiwiSaver contributions or earners’ levy from their earnings or include
    them on your Employer monthly schedule (IR 348).
    Weekly earnings more than $45 a week, $2,340 a year, or more than $2,340 annually:
    Schoolchildren whose total earnings are greater than $2340 a year must fill in an IR 330.
    Deduct PAYE and KiwiSaver from the full payment.
    Refer to the Employers Guide IR335 page 5, to determine whether the child is an employee.
    From 1 April 2011 children are entitled to a tax credit of $245.70 each year if the income is
    over $2,340. If the income is less than $2,340 the tax credit is 10.5% of the income. If a child
    has used the M tax code on the IR 330, reduce the PAYE to be deducted by $4.72 each week.
    Schoolchildren under 18 don’t qualify to use the ML tax code.
    University, polytechnic, and other students
    Deduct PAYE in the normal way. An IR 330 must be filled in. Some of these students may use
    an M SL, ME SL, S SL, SH SL or ST SL code.
    You must then make student loan deductions along with their PAYE.
    [Employers Guide – IR335 – Part 5 – Special types of workers, page 57]
    Calculation of child rebate example:
    Maximum Earnings tax free = $2,340, Low Tax Rate = 10.5%
    Therefore annual rebate = 2340 x 10.5% = 245.70
    Weekly rebate = 245.70 divided by 52 = 4.725
    Truncate to 2 decimal places = 4.72 per week.
    Using this formula, the rebate for different pay periods is as follows.
    Pay Period
    Number of periods
    in the year
    Rebate in pay
    Weekly 52 $4.72
    Monthly 12 $20.47
    Fortnightly 26 $9.45
    Bi-monthly 24 $10.23
    Four Weekly 13 $18.90
    Truncate result to two decimal points.’

    Feel like employing a young person now, well-meaning small business owner? Yeah, I thought not.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Oh NOES!!! It’s really hard doing maths especially when it’s automated through the computer software, Woe is ME!!!!


    • lprent 17.2

      I’m puzzled. Are you illiterate?

      That is what computer programs do. They calculate things. Every small business has one or hires a service to have one. If you cannot use one, then why would you be in business?

      It is pretty much the same with tax codes for adults. Anyone can cherry pick scenarios. For instance try someone with a student loan, on kiwisaver, who spends time in the territorials, and who is paying off a fine to the courts.

      But the only skill by the small business owner required is hitting the right check boxes on the payroll and putting in the correct hours. If they are incapable of doing that then they should not be running a business.

      BTW : Where have you been since the mid-80’s when this became common? That was when I first started writing this kind of code. You’d have to have been running a business in a religious commune with a proscription on technology or in the tiniest corner dairy not to have used payroll programs.

      • Zetetic 17.2.1

        it’s called the ACT Party.

        • lprent

          By his writing I suspect that the religious organization was less rational than that, probably the libertarianz

          Definitely wasn’t the corner dairy. They just work it out rather than whining about it.

      • R 17.2.2

        No, I’m not illiterate, either in English-language terms or programming ones. I’m surprised that as a programmer you can’t see the problems in the practical implications of the text I pasted above.

        • Colonial Viper

          Whatever the issues are its not as complex as programming the control system for a car’s ABS brakes/traction control.

        • lprent

          There are no problems. Not compared to the kind of stuff I write everyday. Moreover, the IRD writes everything with helpful decision flow paths to frame the code on. When it comes to payroll those are unambiguous*. That makes it in the easy enough for a corporate programmer level.

          And of course once it gets coded and debugged then the end-user doesn’t need to know that logic – which was what my point was. They just tell the system the factors.

          * Unlike something like the IRD rules about depreciation of assets which have more probabilistic twists in them for a lot of items than anything else that I have seen for a while. Best idea there is to hire a good accountant.

          • R

            LOL, and of course the IRD never make mistakes in their ‘helpful’ flow diagrams… /* end sarcasm*/

            My original point was trying to illustrate my belief that Peter Dunne’s legislation made employing school-aged children more problematic for the employer/payroll practitioner than it was previously. If you’d like to dispute that then please go for it.

            As it stands, I know many employers and payroll practitioners who know just how farcical such legislation is in practice.

            • Colonial Viper

              Bigger issues than this in NZ

            • R

              FWIW, I don’t program payroll systems directly, but it is my job to support/implement them. I do have to be intimately acquainted with the implications of IRD’s specs, and at times have managed to elicit programmatical retractions/clarifications/adjustments from them. I’m not just making problems up for the sake of complaining.

              • ropata

                The NZ system seems simple when you consdier all the GST exemptions that Aussie has to deal with. And the NZ economy remains one of the most business friendly in the world. Yet we still have nutcases from that libertarian utopia, the USA trying to tell us to sell off our assets for greater ‘efficiency’

            • lprent

              My question is the usual – are there payroll systems that handle this? Most of the online SaaS ones for NZ should and they are cheap enough to access. If not then a old style single computer one should (and there were quite a few last time I used them).

              At a glance it looks like there are only a few external inputs and the algorithms look simple.

              Then IRD don’t make many errors with their flows on payroll type stuff – they get ironed out when the payroll programs get updated because then it has to be turned into code and programs don’ handle ambiguity. That all happens well before the code changes get inflicted on the public, and is why you often see little bits of fixup legislation going through just before IRD legislation goes live.

              The problems that the IRD has are when people try to do this by hand. Since that doesn’t happen that often, you won’t find a great deal of frontline staff skills at it. I suspect that is what you are referring to…

              My point and Dracos etc is that if you are doing it by hand you are making a rod for your own back. The youth bit you quoted doesn’t look that different from most parts of the payroll codes – ie from adults. Programs will do the work in the same way that they have been doing for decades. Pay for some access.

    • deservingpoor 17.3

      Why on earth would anyone use that resource rather than the employers guide, paye tables or paye calculator that are much more accessible on the IRD website?

      However, what the document actually says is:
      -If you hire a school child, who earns less than $45 per week, you don’t have to tax them.
      -If you hire a school child earning over that, rather than using the ML tax code, they get a child rebate.
      -University, polytech and other students don’t count as school children.
      -If you don’t want to use the PAYE calculator, either use this calculation or get a 12 year old to do it for you.

  18. I suspect this undermining of the minimum wages for people under 25 is one of those outrageous mis-directions the Govt can back down on and look all moderate while perpetrating other lesser outrages.

    They have used this tactic before.

    No one should get upset about it until it’s in legislation. Otherwise we look “excitable” and they look calm, cool, collected…and moderate.

  19. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/govt-looks-lower-rates-young-workers-ck-95556#comment-144118

    My recent post on NBR on this topic…………

    Comments and questions

    1 “The government is not ruling out a return to lower rates for young workers. Prime Minister John Key this month indicated National would campaign on further changes to labour laws — and did not rule out reinstating a youth minimum wage.”

    GREAT way to capture the youth vote!

    ‘Equal work – equal pay’ .

    If you cannot pay lower wages to someone on the basis of sex or race/ethnicity – why is it acceptable to pay lower wages on the basis of age – IF THE PERSON IS DOING THE SAME WORK?

    Don’t recall seeing cheaper rents, power charges or food prices for younger people?

    So – why should they get less pay?

    Penny Bright


  20. Kimberley 20

    Youth rates would make sense in theory – if it was a chance for young people to receive training and then move up in the organisation as they got more skilled. But i have not seen it work this way. My first job I was paid youth rates and was told by another employee that our boss only hired people under the age of 18 because he could pay them less. He never hired anyone over the age of 18. He had no interest in encouraging people to move up in the organisation only in getting them while they were cheap. Is it really fair for a older more experienced person to get passed up for a job by a 16 year old simply because the 16 year old is cheaper?
    People make it seem like it’s so simple “just up skill and you’ll get paid more” but plenty of even highly skilled people struggle to get pay rises or even jobs at all. I’m still at University but I’ve seen heaps of my friends graduate and struggle to find work even when they’re prepared to to work for minimum wage. At my current part time job they advertised for a new full time position and received hundreds off applicants, most had degrees coming out of their ears. But my boss said she would rather hire someone that had never gone to University and so had more work experience. Skill or study is not the issue.
    And yes part of this is due to the fact that some degrees are more popular than others and so less easy to get jobs with but I disagree with the people who have commented above me saying those people that can’t get jobs with bachelor degrees should go back and do post graduate study. I know people that are doing this but it creates its own problems eg you could be seen as over qualified to what your’e applying for or you could be seen to be expecting more money for your higher qualifications without having any experience. Plus if a degree on its own has come to have so little value how long before postgraduate study has less value in the job market too (with more people doing it because they can’t get jobs without it). It’s called degree inflation – my concern is that my generation is spending longer studying, spending more money on it but also getting less value from it, having to accept lower pay than the generation that went before us.
    And my friends that have not been able to find jobs did not study useless things like “German poetry” they studied accounting and other Business subjects.

    • r0b 20.1

      Great comment. I wish we had more students commenting here. Time for you lot to get active for the election!

    • Colonial Viper 20.2

      And my friends that have not been able to find jobs did not study useless things like “German poetry” they studied accounting and other Business subjects.

      You shouldn’t be so sure which subjects you mention here are the useless ones.

      • Kimberley 20.2.1

        Oh when I said it was useless I was referring to the person who said the job market shouldn’t have to soak all the Bachelors of Arts floating around. Not my personal opinion, I think it’s a pity the arts aren’t more valued.

        • NickS

          Well, unfortunately there’s more accounting grads than there are jobs available, so accounting is slightly useless at present, and the same goes for law.

          And yeah, BA’s should be better appreciated as they do train students in various ways of thinking critically and synthesising multiple lines of information. Something high school curriculums seem to have jack all success at even at the 3rd level of NCEA/year 13.

    • NickS 20.3


      And with NZ’s crap research and development spending, even a postgrad degree wont net you a job right away. Heck, one of the guys I know from high school took 3 years to land a job relevant to his electrical engineering degree, while another who did mechanical had similar luck. And I’m not particularly hopeful that once I finally get around to ye old MSc*, that I’ll get a job easily if I go the route I want to with esoteric evolutionary developmental bio stuff. Which while it would come with transferable skills in molecular techniques for looking at gene regulation networks, in relation to health science applications, it probably wouldn’t look as strong as a MSc Thesis focused purely on said area(s)…

      *presently heading off to CPIT for a computer tech cert so I can get some work and ride out the probable second National term, with fingers crossed that I can get a job with it.

    • Zetetic 20.4

      “youth rates make sense in theory”


      reminds me of that wonderful saying – ‘New Zealand has had the best economy in the world for the past 25 years, in theory.’

      We implemented the neoliberal theory more than any other country on earth. The problem is, reality keeps on being wrong.

      • Colonial Viper 20.4.1

        Hey we are already the 6th best country in the world for business freedom.

        Once we are the first, NZ will be transformed into the land of milk and honey. A low wage serf land of milk and honey, but you can’t have everything.

  21. I find it hard to fathom that anyone who loves their kids can believe its OK to exploit someone else’s.

    • RedLogix 21.1

      Well the key word is their kids. In the modern world we model almost everything in terms of property relationships; my house, my car, my money, my family, my wife, my kids… it’s the same underlying ‘ownership’ paradigm at work everywhere.

      From this viewpoint it makes perfect sense to look after your ‘own kids’ while exploiting others.

      • Descendant Of Smith 21.1.1

        It’s quite consistent with the links between the neo-liberal right and the religious right – where the man is the head of a nuclear household and the wife and children are possessions of the head of the household.

        We seem to be moving to a position where the church is once again gaining more political power – still more covertly than overtly but increasing all the same.

        Religions have always invested in property (for people who believe in the illusory they are rather materialistic) and the recent boom has given them both wealth and influence.

        It’s interesting to to note Parents Inc popping up on TV3 the other night as well as Paul Henry – National and it’s mates are sure getting their money’s worth.

        Looking forward to catching PEDA appearing soon commenting on PI youth issues, a documentary on wagon building at China North Rail, Jenny Shipley on an insiders look at job vetting, ……

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