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Pasifika People Unfairly Targeted by Government’s Youth Wage

Asenati Lole-Taylor MP
Spokesperson for Pacific Island Affairs

20 March 2013

Pasifika People Unfairly Targeted by Government’s Youth Wage

New Zealand First says Pasifika people will be seriously disadvantaged under the Government’s misguided minimum and youth wage policy which should be scrapped.

The Government’s policy will from next month see the minimum wage increase by a paltry 25 cents an hour to $13.50. The youth wage – or Starting Out Wage – will from May be 80 per cent of that, or $11.

Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Asenati Lole-Taylor says the reality of the situation is that a disproportionate number of Pasifika households are reliant on wages bought in by working-age children.

“Increasing the minimum wage by just 25 cents an hour is bad enough and does nothing to help struggling families get ahead in life.

“But the introduction of youth rates is a travesty which will lead to older workers losing their jobs only because younger people can be employed on the cheap.

“It is a lose-lose situation for workers of all ages.”

Mrs Lole-Taylor says New Zealand First would use its influence at the next election to abolish youth rates and increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“Taking this step would dramatically improve the lives of many Pasifika families who are struggling to put food on the table.”

ENDS

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