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Minimum Wage Is Hurting Young NZers

Minimum Wage Is Hurting Young NZers

It's very rich of Labour's Annette King to blame National for the high rate of unemployment for young New Zealanders when it is, in fact, Labour's abolition of youth rates that has caused this problem, ACT Finance Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas said today.

"Since youth rates were abolished in early 2008, the unemployment rate for 15-19 year-olds has almost doubled. The number of unemployed youth has risen by 18,800 people," Sir Roger said.

"It is pretty clear what is causing this to happen – if you look at the 10-year period before the abolition of youth rates, youth unemployment peaked at 15.9 percent. Today, it stands at 26.5 percent.

"An excessive minimum wage denies young people the opportunity to get a job, as employers cannot afford to hire them. When unemployed, they can't gain work experience, don't receive on-the-job training, and never develop a work ethic.

"If Annette King really cared about those young people who cannot find a job, she would end support for the policies that Labour voted for that caused it.

Instead, she seems to think the solution is make-work schemes paid for by the taxpayer or hiding the problem by allowing more to become students.

"Labour has caused the excessive rise in youth unemployment and now wants taxpayers to pick up the tab," Sir Roger said.


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