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

 

Labour's 'Future Of Work': Major Reform Of Careers And Apprenticeships

The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

State Investments Management: Treasury Likes IRD, Not Education Or Corrections

The Inland Revenue Department has scored an 'A' in the first tranche of the Treasury's investor confidence rating for state agencies that manage significant Crown investments and assets, gaining greater autonomy as a result, while the Corrections and Education ministries gained a 'C' rating. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Goal: NZ To Be "Predator Free" By 2050

Prime Minister John Key has today announced the Government has adopted the goal of New Zealand becoming Predator Free by 2050... “That’s why we have adopted this goal. Our ambition is that by 2050 every single part of New Zealand will be completely free of rats, stoats and possums." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The IOC’s Treatment Of Russian Sport, And Lone Wolf Terrorism

A blanket ban on Russian athletes would also have exposed the IOC to criticism that its treatment of Russia would have been marked contrast to its treatment say, of the track and field team from Kenya – a country about which the IOC has very similar doping concerns. More>>

ALSO:

Sounds Like A Plan: Auckland Council Receives Unitary Plan Recommendations

A key milestone in New Zealand planning history was reached today when the Independent Hearings Panel delivered the reports containing its recommendations on the Proposed Auckland Unitary Plan. More>>

ALSO:

National Park Expansion: Forests And Coast Of Kahurangi Protected

Five parcels of high value land totalling more than 890 hectares have been formally gazetted as part of the National Park. More>>

ALSO:

PPP Go-Ahead: SkyPath Gets Unanimous Support

Auckland’s SkyPath project has been given the go-ahead to be delivered through a public private partnership, after a unanimous decision at today’s Finance and Performance Committee. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Reserve Bank, The UN Shortlist, And Trump

Can there really be there any link between the US presidential elections and yesterday’s RBNZ signals on interest rates and the NZ dollar? Well, maybe. And it would be this: the improving US economy is reportedly putting a tailwind behind the US dollar, and rendering the actions of our Reserve Bank virtually irrelevant. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What John Key Should Be Asking Joe Biden

No doubt, US Vice-President Joe Biden will be updating Prime Minister John Key on the chances of a TPP vote taking place in the ‘ lame duck’ session of Congress that’s held between the November’s election and the inauguration of a new President in January. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news