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Youth Wage Changes Welcomed By Students

"Young people can thank their Minister today for delivering on a key election pledge and providing for a fairer system of youth wages," said Sam Huggard, Co President of the New Zealand University Students Association (NZUSA).

Mr Huggard was responding to today's announcement from Youth Affairs Minister Laila Harre that the youth minimum wage will increase to 80% of the adult minimum wage by 2002 and the age of eligibility of the adult minimum wage will be lowered to 18.

"NZUSA believes in the principle of a fair days pay for a fair days work. We totally reject the notion that young people should be paid considerably less simply because of their age. Many independent young people may have the same fixed costs as adult workers, but are required to meet them on considerably less pay," said Sam Huggard.

"For the many employers who pay well above the youth minimum wage today's announcement will not affect them, but it is vital that there is a decent minimum rate to protect young people from the employers paying at the bottom end of the scale."

"We are also pleased that the government has introduced protection for those workers involved in training, where previously they had no cover at all."

"Today's announcement is reflective of a Youth Affairs Minister that is willing to listen to the concerns of young people, when so many others in society will not. We acknowledge the ongoing work of the Minister in ensuring that young people are treated with respect in New Zealand society," concluded Sam Huggard.

Ends.


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