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Government moves to cut youth pay by 20%

Same Work Same Pay Media Release

14 March 2013

Government moves to cut youth pay by 20%

The Government’s move to cut young people’s pay by 20% will drive many young people and their families further into poverty, says youth campaign group Same Work Same Pay.

The call comes as the Government prepares to pass the Starting Out Wage Bill through its Second Reading in Parliament later today.

Same Work Same Pay spokesperson James Sleep says cutting youth pay by 20% won’t create jobs, but will make young people’s lives a lot harder.

“It’s astonishing that at a time when even the Government admits people can’t live on the minimum wage of $13.50 it’s moving to cut young people’s pay to $10.80 an hour.

“Young people living away from home have the same expenses as every other New Zealander. Young people don’t get a 20% discount on rent or grocery bills.

“There are also thousands of low income families that rely on younger members working to make ends meet because the parents aren’t paid a living wage. These families will slip even further into poverty if this legislation goes ahead.

“The fact is National’s recipe of cutting wages and making people easier to fire hasn’t created jobs. There are now 90,000 young people out of work, education and training – an increase of 10,000 in the last year alone. This is a record of failure.”

“Young people need to feel they have a future in this country and that the Government has a strategy to create jobs.”

“We’re calling on the Government to drop the Starting Out Wage Bill and invest in targeted job schemes like Job Ops and Community Max, boost the size of the apprenticeship scheme announced in January and expand youth transition services.”

Same Work Same Pay is a coalition of groups opposing the introduction of a Starting Out Wage. This includes the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions youth sector Stand UP, the New Zealand Union of Student Associations, Young Greens, Young Labour, the Service and Food Workers Union, First Union and the Public Service Association youth sector (PSAY).


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