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National’s Message To Youth: Stay On The Couch

National’s Message To Youth: Stay On The Couch

National’s failure to support reintroducing a youth wage is condemning youth to a future of doing nothing, learning nothing and earning nothing says ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Sir Roger Douglas.

“Prime Minister John Key said yesterday that he didn’t want to send a message to young people that the only way to get them into work is to ‘cut their pay’, so instead National is sending another message to young people: stay on the couch,” Sir Roger said.

“Canterbury University Economist Eric Crampton estimates that up to 13,100 young people are out of work as a consequence of the youth wage being abolished. It is patently obvious that for these thousands of young people getting off the dole and earning a wage would give them a substantial pay rise, not a pay cut.

“Yet last night Mr Key said that the youth wage was ‘only one factor’ in terms of youth unemployment and all but ruled out reinstating it.

“Instead today he announced policies including tracking youth who are not in work or training, restricting what young beneficiaries can buy and encouraging them to attend budgeting programmes. I am certain if given the choice between these feel good measures and actually having a job, almost all beneficiaries would choose the latter.

“But this is a choice that thousands of unemployed young people are being denied, and will continue to be denied until the youth minimum wage is reinstated.

“Finance Minister Bill English said yesterday that there are no easy political solutions to the global debt crisis. He was right, but should reflect that the same applies to youth unemployment. If National really cares about helping young beneficiaries they should take the most obvious step; allow young people to help themselves first,” Sir Roger said.

ENDS


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