web analytics

Why the Nats Youth Rate is just plain bollocks

Written By: - Date published: 2:03 pm, October 31st, 2011 - 20 comments
Categories: national, wages - Tags:

Labour candidate for Northcote Paula Gillon writes:

The Nats planned ‘starting-out’ youth rate is unfair, discriminatory and just plain bollocks

It’s no surprise that TV3 showed a clip on Friday night where young people talked about how they didn’t agree with National’s proposed new ‘starting-out’ youth rate and stated that it was “unfair” particularly as they weren’t old enough to vote against it.

It’s hard enough being a young person today without more discriminatory laws being thrust your way. We need to encourage young people to get a job; not slam them for six months when they do and treat them differently from their co-workers.

Being a student or in training is expensive. It never has been an ‘easy ride’ or a matter of a ‘life-style choice’, for many seeking to be productive citizens it is a necessity. Transport to and from university can be costly. Take for example your average student living in Birkdale, the bus into Auckland CBD and back costs approx $8.80 per day. If you go into classes four to five days a week then that could be an entire days wages on National’s ‘starting-out’ youth rate. It doesn’t leave much for food or rent does it? And before you say ‘move closer to the city’ a quick search of TradeMe’s ‘Flatmates Wanted’ will show you that a room in the city centre will cost you an average of $200pw while in Birkdale you are looking at approx $120 – $140pw.

What a great way to ‘start out’.

Gaining employment for young people is not just difficult, but it can also be costly. Having the right clothes for an office or retail job or getting the right work-boots are expensive up-front costs. Then, again, add on the cost of transport. You will end up with young people in training wondering if employment is really worth it. For some, it might cost more to be employed than unemployed. Many will be tempted to just get the Student Allowance and end up with double the amount of debt by the time they leave their training course. Didn’t someone say we were supposed to be reducing our debt?

But what about those young people coming off a benefit and into employment?

I’ll give you a scenario of what is likely to happen and you can tell me whether or not this is fair:

18year old ‘A’ has just finished school and is seeking full time employment. He/she has never worked before and has led a lovely cushy life living at home sponging off his/her parents (not that there is anything wrong with this!). 18year old ‘B’ has had a tough life, had to move out of home at a younger-than-normal age and ended up on the benefit, but now wants to get his/her life back on track through full-time employment. They both get employed in similar jobs: 18year old ‘A’ gets employed on $13ph but 18year old ‘B’ who is coming off the benefit is employed on $10.40ph. How is this fair? Why are we penalising young people for wanting to get off the benefit?

But don’t just take my word for it. Being the geek academic that I am, I decided to also provide you with a little bit of research. It really didn’t take me long to find the following gems.

  • On the argument that more young people will be employed: “if a business is operating so close to the bone that a $100 per week wage costs differential determines whether anyone is taken off unemployment, the viability of the whole enterprise can only be described as precarious. The answer is not to tinker with and reduce wages, which typically make up 25 to 35 percent of operating costs, but to find ways of producing more for less” (Balls, 2010, pg. 64);
  • “the economic arguments in favour of the youth wage are not inherently compelling; but rely for their credibility on the persistence of thinking that young people are not entitled to the same array of rights as adults and that they ought not be treated as if they have full human status” (Bessant, 2000, pg. 239);
  • “The ‘youth wage’ extends the dependency on parent/s and guardians in ways that sit oddly with official claims that governments want to enhance young people’s active participation” (Bessant, 2004, pg. 396); and,
  • then there is the research from academics at the London School of Economics who dismiss arguments that a youth minimum wage will increase job opportunities saying: “research has generally found few effects of the wage floor on jobs” (Petrongolo & Van Reenan, 2011, pg. 4).

I could add much, much more to this small sample.

What concerns me the most about National’s policy is not necessarily just how wrong they’ve got it, but their complete lack of empathy for young people. It wouldn’t have taken much to talk to some young people and ask them about how this would policy would affect their lives. And no, I’m not talking about discussing it with the types of young people who were in John Key’s hand-picked audience during their opening broadcast on Friday night who have wanted for nothing more than the latest iPhone. I’m talking about discussing this with young people who already find that after a small trip to the supermarket, paying rent, putting $30 petrol in the car and budgeting for bus-fares, they have nothing left over from their weekly pay.

It just shows that there really is no choice in this year’s election for young people. A vote for National is a vote for less pay and more debt. A vote for Labour is a vote for an increase in the minimum wage and more job opportunities.

And never forget, three years is a very long time…

Paula Gillon

Paula is the Labour Candidate for Northcote, has a MPhil in Public Policy and is currently completing her PhD in Public Policy, when she’s not out keeping Gotham City safe.

References:

Balls, A. 2010. Statistical stumblings: Ashley Balls unravels the ‘spin’ on the ‘minimum wage causes unemployment’ myth. NZ Business.

Bessant, J. 2000. The Youth Wage and Age Based Discrimination: rights vs jobs. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 35:3.

Bessant, J. 2004. Mixed Messages: Youth Participation and Democratic Practice. Australian Journal of Political Science, 39:2.

Petrongolo, B. and Van Reenan, J. 2011. Youth Unemployment. Centrepiece, 16:1.

 

 

 

20 comments on “Why the Nats Youth Rate is just plain bollocks ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “Many will be tempted to just get the Student Allowance and end up with double the amount of debt by the time they leave their training course.”

    Student Allowance is free and does not need to be repaid to the government. It is a benefit.

    I presume what you mean is Student Loans Living Cost. Almost all students that are renting will be getting this already (interest free, so put it in your bank for a rainy day even if you don’t need it now); introductory wages for first 6 months employment is not likely to force many extra people to take this out.

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Bollocks? Bollocks?!!

    Choice wording written by a woman no less. This could be trouble. 😎

    • vto 2.1

      Ha ha, yes, where is that Thorn bird and her selective outrage?

      And this one is in fact worse because it is derogatory about men’s testicles, whereas at least Goff’s reference to balls had some redeeming features i.e. implication that having balls is good cf this implication that having balls is not good.

      Outrage please someone

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2

      A ballsy headline 🙂

  3. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 3

    That post is quite long. To save time, I have redacted it below:

    Whine, moan, whine. It’s not fair. Whine

  4. Galeandra 4

    A lot of (school) kids work because they need to, to actually help keep family afloat, or to look after their own needs re clothing, stationery,entertainmment etc, because their caregivers require them to.

  5. Gareth 5

    It’s not so much about being close to the bone, only $100 per week yad yada yada.
    A large supermarket or similar with say 50 youth wage employess will save $5000 per week this is all clear profit….

    It’s all about giving even more to those who need it least…

  6. Terry 6

    Most of these comments leave one aghast. Small wonder the country is going for Key, these people have not the brain of a very stupid mouse,

    • Roy 6.1

      It’s not their having the brain of a very stupid mouse that worries me. It’s that they are as mean as a s**thouse rat.

  7. Nick K 7

    A recent Department of Labour study estimated 9,000 youths have lost their jobs as a result of Labour’s abolishment in 2006. Those 9,000 are now earning $4 p/h sitting on the couch; instead of $10 p/h in a job.

    Why is Labour punishing those 9,000 young people so much?

    What have they done to Labour to earn a life on the couch, and on their skateboard rather than in a job?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Unless you can point to the direct quote you are making up bullshit and lies, and therefore you must work for John Key.

      Quite simply, work must be economic for the worker or its not worth doing.

      And if a business owner can’t pay a living wage to its workers, it should be bankrupted and room made for a business which can. That is after all, the ‘creative destruction’ of the capitalist market place.

  8. (A different) Nick K 8

    If a reduction in wages from $13 to $10.40 makes the difference in a youth being employed or not what happens when they reach the end of their six months Youth rate and need to be paid the real minimum wage? Do they get sacked then instead?

    Gareth is right, its another case of directing money towards those that already have money.

    For the record I’m an employer, I don’t pay anyone less than $15/hour and a youth rate would make no difference to whether or not I hired someone. Labour’s policies would have no detrimental effect on my business, National’s will have a detrimental effect on the society I live in.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Maybe if they cut youth rates to $6/hr youth unemployment would disappear permanently. Or not.

  9. deservingpoor 9

    I see red every time someone trots out the line that employing people is an onerous expense to business because:
    1) The logical conclusion to that argument is to pay them nothing.
    2) It shows a complete misunderstanding of how the tax system works. Wages, including the paye paid on behalf of the employees are a claimable expense. In plain english, wages are completely offset against the income tax of the business and effectively cost them nothing.

    Whether they are paying a youth rate or a full rate makes no difference. Either way they claim a 100% deduction against their income tax.

    What this is, is another example of the contempt our society shows it’s young people and the fact that the older generations consistently allow it to continue.

    • Yes Im sorry to say a lot of people in my age group are in favour of low wages for youth .The same type who believe that army traning is good for youth .These bloody types embarrass me ,have they learned nothing in life or are they just naturally mean spirited and envious of the young ?

  10. For the first five years I worked for a low wage .The problem is one is always hard up .Later on in life one realises how much is missed.
    I have always noticed that usually its the rich employer that wants to pay low wages,In NZ, farmers and the racing industry pay the low wages yet are making huge returns on their workers graft. I welcome a capital gains tax. Its about time these greedy bastards paid up . They are not backward in having a handout when ever possible.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New South Wales travel pause to be lifted tomorrow
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says the current travel pause with New South Wales will lift tomorrow – subject to no further significant developments in NSW. “New Zealand health officials met today to conduct a further assessment of the public health risk from the recently identified COVID-19 community cases in Sydney. It has been determined that the risk to public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • March 15 Collective Impact Board appointed
    The voices of those affected by the March 15 mosque attacks will be heard more effectively with the establishment of a new collective impact board, Associate Minister for Social Development and Employment Priyanca Radhakrishnan announced today. Seven members of the Christchurch Muslim community have been appointed to the newly established Board, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More young Kiwis supported with mental health and addiction services
    Nearly quarter of a million more young New Zealanders will have access to mental health and addiction support in their communities as the Government’s youth mental health programme gathers pace. New contracts to expand youth-specific services across the Northland, Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board areas have been confirmed, providing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New hospital facilities mean fewer trips to Auckland for Northlanders
    Northlanders will no longer automatically have to go to Auckland for lifesaving heart procedures like angiograms, angioplasty and the insertion of pacemakers, thanks to new operating theatres and a cardiac catheter laboratory opened at Whangārei Hospital by Health Minister Andrew Little today. The two projects – along with a new ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Fair Pay Agreements to improve pay and conditions for essential workers
    The Government is delivering on its pre-election commitment to implement Fair Pay Agreements which will improve wages and conditions, as well as help support our economic recovery, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood announced today. Fair Pay Agreements will set minimum standards for all employees and employers in an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Establishment of the new Māori Health Authority takes first big step
    Sir Mason Durie will lead a Steering Group to provide advice to the Transition Unit on governance arrangements and initial appointments to an interim board to oversee the establishment of the Māori Health Authority. This Group will ensure that Māori shape a vital element of our future health system, Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Cycle trails move up a gear in Central
    Work on new and upgraded cycle trails in Queenstown, Arrowtown and Central Otago is moving up a gear as two significant projects pass further milestones today. Tourism Minister Stuart Nash has announced new funding for the Queenstown Trails Project, and will also formally open the Lake Dunstan Trail at Bannockburn ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Picton ferry terminal upgrade consent fast-tracked
    The planned upgrade of the Waitohi Picton Ferry terminal has been approved under the fast-track consenting process.  Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the decision by the expert consenting panel to approve the Waitohi Picton Ferry Precinct Redevelopment Project.    The project will provide a significant upgrade to the ferry facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel with New South Wales paused
    COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has announced his intention to pause Quarantine Free Travel from New South Wales to New Zealand while the source of infection of the two cases announced in Sydney in the last two days is investigated.  Whole genome sequencing has linked the case yesterday to a recent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Covid-19 immigration powers to be extended
    The passing of a bill to extend temporary COVID-19 immigration powers means continued flexibility to support migrants, manage the border, and help industries facing labour shortages, Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said. “Over the past year, we’ve made rapid decisions to extend visas, vary visa conditions and waive some application requirements ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • “Supporting a Trade-Led Economic Recovery”
    Trade Policy Road Show SpeechManukau, Auckland   Kia ora koutou – nau mai, haere mai ki Manukau, ki Tāmaki.   Good morning everyone, and thank you for this opportunity to discuss with you current global challenges, opportunities and the Government’s strategy in support of a trade-led recovery from the economic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building consent numbers at an all-time high
    A record 41,028 new homes have been consented in the year ended March 2021 March 2021 consent numbers the highest since the 1940s Record number of new homes consented in Auckland The number of new homes consented is at an all-time high, showing a strong and increasing pipeline of demand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Whānau-centred support for parents and tamariki
    Up to 60 whānau in Counties Manukau will be supported through the first three years of their parenthood by a new whānau-centred model of care, said Associate Health Minister, Hon Aupito William Sio. “Providing this support to young parents is something we have to get right. It’s a priority both ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ backs moves to improve global access to COVID vaccines
    New Zealand welcomes and strongly supports the announcement made by the United States Trade Representative to work for a waiver of IP protections on COVID-19 vaccines at the WTO, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor said. “New Zealand supports equitable access to COVID vaccines for all. No one is safe from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tourism communities: support, recovery and re-set plan
    TIHEI MAURI ORA Tuia te whakapono Tuia te tumanako Tuia te aroha Tuia te hunga ora Ki te hunga ora Tihei Mauri ora Ka nui te mihi ki a koutou Tena koutou, tena koutou, tena koutou katoa. Thank you, Hilary and thank you, Chris, and everyone at TIA for this ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Support, recovery and re-set plan for tourism communities
    Five South Island tourist communities targeted for specialist support Pressure on Māori tourism operators and Conservation facilities recognised Domestic and international-facing tourism agencies put on more secure footing Long-term plan to re-set tourism with a focus on sustainability, industry standards and regional economic diversification A plan to ensure the immediate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech on NZ Rail Plan
    Check against delivery E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā karanga maha o te wa, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou katoa. Ki ngā mana whenua o Taranaki Whānui anō nei aku mihi ki a koutou. Nōku te hōnore kia haere mai ki te whakanuia tēnei huihuinga whakahirahira. Nō ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government hits massive milestone in Violence Prevention & Elimination
    Minister for Family and Sexual Violence Marama Davidson announced a major milestone at a hui in South Auckland today, with the launch of the national engagement process on the prevention and elimination of family and sexual violence. “There is no room for violence in our lives – there is no ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fee waiver extended for conservation tourism businesses
    Tourism businesses operating on public conservation land will have another six months of fees waived to help them adjust to the downturn in international visitors in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced. "We acknowledge it has been a difficult year for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • ‘Lua Wave’ to future-proof Pasifika Festivals in Aotearoa
    Pasifika festival organisers will receive additional support to adapt to the COVID-19 environment thanks to the Government’s newly launched ‘Lua Wave’ component of the Pasifika Festivals Initiative, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “This initiative has not only been to support festival organisers to recover from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Crown accounts show confidence in Govt economic plan
    The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect the resilience of the economy and confidence in the Government’s economic recovery plan. The Crown accounts for the nine months to the end of March 2021 show both OBEGAL and the operating balance remain better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Energy Trusts of NZ Autumn Conference
    It’s a pleasure to be here today. Thank you Karen [Sherry] for the introduction and thanks to the Energy Trusts Executive for inviting me to speak at tonight’s event. It is an exciting time to come to speak to trustees of distribution companies. For many decades the electricity industry was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New partnership to grow Māori success in STEM
    A new partnership with the Pūhoro STEM Academy will support thousands more rangatahi Māori to participate and succeed in the fields of science, technology, and innovation, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Since 2016, Pūhoro has worked with Māori students to build their capability and create pathways to employment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rail builds platform for economic recovery
    Transport Minister Michael Wood and State-Owned Enterprises Minister Dr David Clark today released the Government’s long term vision for a sustainable rail network that supports our economic recovery. New Zealand Rail Plan lays out how the Government is building a resilient, reliable and safe network, as well as the indicative ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and UK agree to lift the pace of free trade talks
    New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed to rapidly lift the tempo of talks, as the two countries enter a new phase in free trade negotiations, Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. “UK Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss, and I spoke today about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill passes first reading
    The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Bill has passed its first reading and will now be considered by Parliament’s Justice select committee. “The Bill updates and improves New Zealand’s counter-terrorism legislation and ensures that the right legislative tools are available to intervene early and prevent harm,” Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on The Speaker and Annual Review Debate
    “The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Any investigation of claims of sexual assault should be in a manner ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt motoring towards zero-carbon buses and protecting drivers’ conditions
    Transport Minister Michael Wood is seeking feedback on options for the next phase of the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) review to better protect bus drivers’ pay conditions, and also achieving the Government’s target of fully decarbonising the public transport bus fleet by 2035. Michael Wood said investing in our ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Drop in unemployment shows Govt economic plan is working
    The Government’s economic recovery plan continues to be reflected in the labour market, with more people in work and unemployment falling. Stats NZ figures show employment rose by 15,000 in the March quarter, with 14,000 more women in work. The unemployment rate fell from 4.9 percent to 4.7 percent. This ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government sets pay and workforce expectations for the Public Sector
    The Government’s Workforce Policy Statement issued today sets out its expectations for pay and employment relations in the Public Sector, the Minister of Finance and Minister for the Public Service say. “New Zealand has had an exceptionally successful health and economic response to COVID-19. This has been supported by the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Author Ben Brown is New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador
    Lyttleton writer Ben Brown (Ngāti Mahuta, Ngāti Koroki, Ngāti Paoa) will be New Zealand’s first Te Awhi Rito Reading Ambassador, promoting the value of reading for children and young people, Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti announced today. A poet and award-winning author, Ben Brown writes books, non-fiction and short stories ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating New Zealand’s firefighters this International Firefighters’ day
    With two fire stations already complete, and building underway on 16 fire stations around the country, today we celebrate International Firefighters’ Day for the important role firefighters have in keeping communities across the country safe, says Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti. The work is progressing due to Government funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ron Brierley knighthood to go
    Ron Brierley has written to the Clerk of the Executive Council to tender his resignation as a Knight Bachelor. The Queen has been informed. The forfeiture follows the Prime Minister initiating the process to remove his Knighthood. The Clerk of the Executive Council wrote to him on 6 April 2021 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Employment boost for rural communities
    The Government is continuing to create opportunities for at-risk rangatahi overcome barriers to employment, education or training with the next tranche of He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re focused on supporting rangatahi to get what they need to progress in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pre-Budget speech to Wellington Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you for the invitation to speak today, it is great to be here.  I mean that both sincerely and literally. For this equivalent speech last year I took part virtually, beaming in from the Beehive Theatrette with only a socially distanced press gallery bearing silent witness. You are a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Budget 2021 reprioritises nearly $1 billion
    The Government’s strong pandemic response and the better than expected economic recovery means not all the money allocated in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund has been spent, Grant Robertson said in his annual pre-Budget speech to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce this morning. “As part of Budget preparation I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech on Digital Identity Trust Framework
    I'd like to start by thanking Graeme, David and Ben from NZTech and Digital Identity New Zealand for inviting me to speak to you. I’m so sorry I can’t be there in person, but I want to acknowledge those of you who are, including some of this country’s top tech ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ Cook Islands travel bubble significant step in COVID-19 recovery
    New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown have today announced that, pending final confirmation by New Zealand’s Director-General of Health and the Cook Islands Secretary of Health, two-way quarantine-free travel will commence between the two countries on 17 May (NZT). “Two way quarantine-free travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Minister for State Owned Enterprises saddened by passing of KiwiRail Chair
    Minister for State Owned Enterprises, David Clark is deeply saddened to hear about the passing of KiwiRail Chairman, Brian Corban. “I know Brian was seen as a transformative leader within KiwiRail, well respected for his wisdom, honesty and sense of humour,” said David Clark. Mr Corban served as Chair of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to the China Business Summit by the Minister for Trade and Export Growth
      Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.  Tena koutou katoa.  Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you today for this China Business Summit – my first as Minister for Trade and Export Growth as well as Minister of Agriculture – and to have the opportunity to speak to you ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago