Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


Caritas: Parliament showing lack of concern for young people

7 December 2012

Parliament showing lack of concern for young people - Caritas

Catholic social justice agency Caritas is deeply concerned about the messages Parliament is currently sending New Zealand’s young people.

Caritas spoke against the Government’s ‘starting-out’ minimum wage proposal at the Transport and Industrial relations select committee on Thursday. It also expressed disappointment at Parliament’s defeat by 61 votes to 58 of legislation that would have given greater protection to New Zealand’s youngest workers.

‘Making the labour of young people cheaper will increase the vulnerability of the entire youth workforce,’ Caritas research and advocacy coordinator Lisa Beech told the Select Committee considering the Minimum Wage (Starting-Out-Wage) Amendment Bill.

The government’s own calculations show most new jobs for lower-waged 16-17 year-olds will come primarily from substitution of jobs for 18-19 year-olds . ‘Displacing one group of vulnerable workers with another is not job creation,’ Lisa Beech said.

Caritas undertook in-depth interviews with four young people currently living and working in situations that future young people will face on lower wages, if the Bill is passed. The interviews showed that young people’s wages may currently support wider family household costs, independent teenage living, or study – all of which would be affected if young people earn lower wages.

Caritas CEO Julianne Hickey said if demand does not increase, whatever the price that is set for supply is what will be paid by employers. ‘Wages cannot be treated just as any other commodity, because people deserve to live in dignity on their earnings.’

Julianne Hickey told the Committee that Caritas recognises youth unemployment as such an urgent and serious problem that it has made it the focus of Social Justice Week in the Catholic Church next September. The Week takes place each year at the request of New Zealand’s Catholic Bishops to highlight a particular social justice concern.

‘Just making the labour of young people cheaper will not address the major challenges facing us as a community unable to find work for everyone,’ said Mrs Hickey.

Five of the members of the Transport and Industrial Relations Committee had spoken against the Employment Relations (Protection of Young Workers) Amendment Bill which was defeated in Parliament on Wednesday night. Caritas said it was disappointed at the lack of knowledge displayed in the Parliamentary debate on the vulnerability of working children in New Zealand, including research undertaken by Caritas. Copies of the Caritas 2007 Delivering the Goods report on child delivery workers were given to the Committee.

Julianne Hickey said the starting-out wage proposal and rejection of the children’s work bill, together with the 90-day probationary employment period for workers, and the extension of sanctions to beneficiaries who refuse work, will all combine to make working conditions more difficult for young people.

Quoting research saying New Zealand’s elderly deprivation levels are equivalent to that of Sweden while child deprivation levels are equivalent to that of Mexico, she said Parliament is further entrenching these inequalities. ‘We are deeply concerned about the messages Parliament is sending about New Zealand’s future.’

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Drone Strikes And Judith Collins‘ Last Stand

The news that a New Zealand citizen was killed last November in a US drone attack in Yemen brings the drones controversy closer to home.

To the US, drones are a legitimate response to the threat posed by the al Qaeda organisation and its franchisees... To the US, the drones carry the added advantage of not putting US troops at risk on the ground, and minimises the need for putting them in large numbers in bases in the countries concerned, always a politically sensitive point.

The counter-argument, well articulated by security analyst Paul Buchanan on RNZ this morning, is that this particular drone attack can be said to amount to an extra-judicial execution of a New Zealand citizen by one of our military allies, in circumstances where the person concerned posed no threat to New Zealand’s domestic security. More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Policies: Labour’s Economic Upgrade For Manufacturing

Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today announced his Economic Upgrade for the manufacturing sector – a plan that will create better jobs and higher wages. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Life And ACC Work Of Sir Owen Woodhouse

With the death of Sir Owen Woodhouse, the founding father of the Accident Compensation Scheme, New Zealand has lost one of the titans of its post-war social policy. More>>

ALSO:

Bad Transnationals: Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award

It won the 2011 Roger Award and was runner up in 2012, 2009 and 08. One 2013 nomination said simply and in its entirety: “Blackmailing country”... More>>

ALSO:

Select Committees: Tobacco Plain Packaging Hearings

The Stroke Foundation is today backing the Cancer Society and Smokefree Coalition who are making oral submissions to the Health Select Committee in support of proposed legislation to remove of all branding from tobacco products. More>>

ALSO:

Milk: Oravida Asked For Cabinet Help

New evidence released by New Zealand First today reveals Justice Minister Judith Collins used her position to manipulate the Government to help her husband’s company, Oravida, after the Fonterra botulism scare, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters. More>>

ALSO:

With Conditions: Ruataniwha Consents Approved In Draft Decision

The Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry has granted 17 resource consents relating to the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme in a draft decision that would open more of the Hawke’s Bay to irrigation. More>>

ALSO:

Fast Lanes, Campervans: Labour 'Making The Holidays Easier For Kiwi Drivers'

The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Royalty And Its Tourism Spin-Offs

Ultimately the Queen’s longevity has been one of her most significant accomplishments. A transition to Prince Charles while the monarchy was in the pits of public esteem in the mid to late 1990s would have been disastrous for the Royal Firm. Far more congenial representatives have now emerged... More>>

ALSO:

Privacy (Again): ACC Demands Excessive Privacy Waivers

Labour: “This is just another example of ACC under National deliberately acting to deny treatment and compensation... Those who did fill in the form have effectively been victims of yet another ACC privacy breach. This time Judith Collins knew it was happening..." More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news