Friday, October 28, 2011

National wants to cut pay for the young

One of Sue Bradford's great achievements as an MP was eliminating discriminatory youth rates, which saw young people paid less for doing the same work as older people, simply on account of their age. National opposed that reform, and now they're making restoring youth rates a central part of their election platform:

National has released its employment policy, pledging to cement a lower-paid "starting out" wage, and pay cuts for striking workers.


Speaking to an employers and manufacturers breakfast in Auckland, Prime Minister John Key said the rate would apply to 16 and 17 year olds in their first six months with a new employer, 18 and 19 year olds entering the workforce after being on a designated benefit and 16-19 year olds training in a recognised industry course worth at least 40 credits a year.

Key says this is all about getting young people into jobs. In fact, its about cutting labour costs, and allowing employers, particularly employers in the service industry, to make bigger profits. All part of his "we would love to see wages drop" plan to reduce wages and living conditions for ordinary kiwis.

How can Key get away with this? Because his victims can't vote, or are less likely to. Which is another reason we need to lower the voting age: so young people can defend themselves democratically against the politicians who would victimise them.