Wednesday, August 08, 2018

Why is NZ First opposing youth rates repeal?

When they ran for election, Labour promised to repeal National's hated and unfair youth rates - the system where employers could pay someone less simply for being younger. But NZ First is apparently holding up the process:

Labour's pre-election policy of ditching youth rates within its first year in power appears to be on the back burner for now as it negotiates with its coalition partner New Zealand First.


The New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, said pre-election policies were irrelevant as there was now a coalition agreement.

"That is our policy, detailed as it is, if you don't find it there then it won't be part of any committment."

Youth rates are not mentioned in the Labour-New Zealand First coalition agreement.

Winston is typically evasive on why exactly he is opposing repeal, and its particularly odd given that NZ First supported their repeal in 2003 and opposed their re-imposition in 2013. Which suggests that this has been delayed as part of coalition bargaining - or, more bluntly, its a policy shakedown. Winston didn't agree explicitly to pass this, so he wants something (and probably something cruel or stupid) in exchange. But while he's haggling, young people continue to be discriminated against in the most basic way in the workplace. But I guess they're simply not a priority for the pensioner party.