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Support for Youth Wages Bill welcomed

9 February 2006

Support for Youth Wages Bill welcomed

United Future's support of Sue Bradford's members bill abolishing youth wage rates has been welcomed by the Green Party.

United Future Leader Peter Dunne has said his party would support the bill to select committee stage so that it can be publicly debated.

Ms Bradford says: "United Future's support is welcome and I hope other parties will get behind my bill to end discrimination against young people in the work place."

The Bill comes up for its first reading in the house on February 22, and Ms Bradford is hoping it will also be supported by Labour, the Maori Party and New Zealand First.

"Over the next week I will be speaking at three rallies in support of the bill - the first on Sunday at 2pm at the Auckland Town Hall, then on Monday in Christchurch and Tuesday in Wellington.

"It is outrageous that young people should continue to be paid less than their older co-workers when they are doing the same job. It's time for employers to accept that this kind of discrimination must end.

"A 2004 Treasury paper on the impact of an increase in the rate of the youth minimum wage in 2001 showed that despite fears that employers would shun younger workers the opposite happened.

"I understand that some groups fear that the wage bill may increase dramatically if employers are forced to pay young people more, but 16 and 17 year olds are such a tiny percentage of the workforce that the over all impact will be minimal," she says.


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