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Alliance Delivers On Youth Minimum Wage

The Alliance has honoured its pre-election pledge to improve the wage rates of young New Zealand workers, Youth Affairs and Associate Labour Minister Laila Harré said today.

Following last year's minimum wage increase Laila Harré announced an immediate review of the youth minimum wage.

Today she announced a pay rise for an estimated 20,500 young workers.

"The Alliance saw resolving issues for workers under 20 as a key priority, and broad consultation showed that even employers were astonished at just how low the youth minimum wage rate really is."

"This policy will bring the lowest paying employers up to scratch, and improve the entitlement of young workers with very low bargaining power."

Laila Harré said lowering the eligibility for the adult minimum wage to 18 will ensure that low-paid young people will receive wages that reflect the value of the work they are doing, not their age.

"This government does not agree with those who believe the employment of young people should depend on their willingness to work for completely inadequate wages.

"Fortunately, the evidence of wages paid to young workers shows that fair employers don't agree with this either, and there is widespread support for these changes."

Gaining minimum wage protection for under-16s is the Alliance's next priority for young workers, Laila Harré said.

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