Roger Douglas is a lucky man. He’s now got two Private Members Bill out of the ballot, with his latest Minimum Wage (Mitigation of Youth Unemployment) Amendment Bill, pity they’re both so terrible.
You’ve got to ask though – is Roger anti-youth?
His youth rate Bill would reverse Sue Bradford’s success from 46th Parliament to end the minimum wage discrimination based on age. The Standard has a great parody here, replacing the word ‘youth’ with ‘Maori’ in Roger’s Bill. The point is, we wouldn’t discriminate based on ethnicity – so why should we on age? People are already mobilising and you can join the Say NO to YOUTH RATES! Group on Facebook here.
It would be a massive step-backwards if this Bill passed. That ball is now in the National Party’s court.
The other Bill Roger has is the Voluntary Student Membership (VSM) of students’ associations bill which would gut student services on tertiary campuses.
Maybe Roger is now like the curmudgeonly old relative reflecting on the past at family get-togethers, who says to the teenager “…you got paid what? Back in my day, we got paid less than the minimum wage and we were grateful for just that. Student Unions at uni? Luxury! In my day we didn’t have any services or student representation and had to walk 100 miles to class every day.”
Let’s not look to the past for youth policy – let’s pay our young people equal pay for equal work and protect our student services from right-wing ideologues.