by Metiria Turei
(note: the above headline is not a typo)
The statement below could very well be the basis for a future speech by an MP opposed to National’s legislation that will result in many young New Zealanders getting a pay cut.
The fundamental proposition this bill puts up is that we need to pay people less to get them into their first job so that they can have an unskilled future. That is what this bill essentially will do to New Zealanders. We see a different future for New Zealanders. We want those young people to get into training and skills so that they are not talking about getting the lowest-paid job they possibly can, but instead are looking to get the best-paid job they possibly can. If we can achieve that, we can make the dynamic change in our economic base that will give New Zealand the growth potential we need.
The above wise words are not however from some future political speech but were uttered by National MP David Bennett in 2010. At that time National were opposing ACT MP Roger Douglas’s attempt to give young New Zealanders a discriminatory pay cut.
Unfortunately the lofty rhetoric of Hamilton’s David Bennett has drifted off into the ether as National launch their version of Sir Roger’s legislation.
Young people looking for a decent start to their working life under the current Government will soon be able to look forward to;
- earning significantly less than the minimum wage.
- being dismissed from a job paying a pittance anytime in the first three months
- losing their rights to state support if they don’t accept a job paying less than the minimum wage that they can be fired from at any time.
National’s plans for young people seem to be more and more about them getting into the lowest paid job than less and less about making certain they have the skills to survive in the 21st Century workforce.