Youth wages bill goes to select committee
“The Council of Trade Unions is eager to make the case to MPs for the removal of youth rates, and inject some sense and evidence into this debate,” said Ross Wilson, Council of Trade Unions President.
Parliament tonight decided to send Sue Bradford’s Minimum Wage (Abolition of Age Discrimination) Amendment Bill to select committee.
“Various business lobby groups have used the publicity generated by Sue Bradford’s bill to paint a picture of dreary employment prospects for young workers should the bill pass,” said Ross Wilson.
“Business’ track record doesn’t help them however,” said Ross Wilson. “Dire predictions on the effects of changes in labour law, the re-nationalisation of ACC, paid parental leave and regular increases in the minimum wage have all proved wrong. These reforms have been accompanied by the lowest unemployment in decades, and we have enjoyed economic growth of nearly 20% in five years.”
“Time after time the business lobby has proved themselves wrong on labour reforms, and we would be happy to add youth rates to that list.”
“The CTU once again points the business sector to research done by Treasury in 2004 which found that a 69% increase in the minimum wage for 18 and 19 year olds in 2001 and a 41% increase in the minimum wage for 16 and 17 year-olds over a two year period had no adverse effects on youth employment or hours worked. Hours of work actually increased for 16-17 year olds relative to other age groups.”