A 3News story featuring James Sleep’s opposition to youth minimum wages doesn’t add up and shows that he views employers as cash machines for political points.
In 2011, the Department of Labour released a study focussing on the impact of youth minimum wage reform in 2008 with comparisons to reform in 2001.
This showed that reform in 2001, which increased the youth minimum wage from 60% to 80% of the adult minimum, had a negative impact on employment prospects for this 16 to 17 year olds. The study also shows that the 2008 repeal of the youth minimum wage had a similar negative impact.
The report also found that those most affected were students combining part-time work with study.
ACT on Campus President, Taylor Warwood said, “The goal of a youth minimum wage is to give young people a chance to acquire skill advantages, not to deflate wages.”
“We have to look at what the legislation going through Parliament will actually do. It will reduce the minimum wage for those under 18, reducing the disadvantages created by an undeveloped skillset, ensuring their best chance of employment and increasing their chances of gaining valuable skills by the time they reach adulthood.”
“It also gives employers an opportunity to provide a way out of the welfare trap for young people under 19, by making it easier to employ them.”
“ACT on Campus recognises the need for higher wages, to offset high living costs in New Zealand. The most constructive way to do this is to strengthen the economy by lowering the barriers to achievement in New Zealand, and finding ways of increasing skills without needing new taxes. A stronger economy has more value in it to contribute to better wages”
“We could attempt to legislate or tax our way into prosperity, but the costs of doing so will catch up and progress to that end is cancelled by the effects down the line. This is the kind of empty solution Labour leader David Shearer proposes later in the story.”
Vice President Guy McCallum added, “James also forgets that bills are paid with wages and we look for jobs that meet those obligations, or we cut down on what we have to pay. This underlying premise he presents that wages should be paid out according to the size of the bills we pay is economic disaster.”
“The leftist conspiracy theory that evil capitalists are out to deflate wages is very convenient for them, but lacks hard evidence that this is the intention. What is true about youth minimum wage is that it will provide an opportunity at an earlier age to prepare for better wages, learning a good work ethic, and appreciating the value of a dollar.”
“James is either trying to hoodwink people into believing youth minimum wages are a bad thing, or has already been hoodwinked by somebody else.”