09 October 2012
Low wage future no future at all
National's plan to pay young Kiwis low wages will just see them saving up their $10 an hour for a plane ticket to
Australia, says Labour Leader David Shearer.
"Under National's watch, 65,158 young Kiwis aged between 18-30 have headed to Australia looking for better jobs and
opportunities – 21,733 this year alone. Paying lower wages will just drive more of them offshore.
"We need an economy that provides decent, secure jobs and good incomes and where young people have hope and opportunity
not the low-wage vision promoted by National.
"John Key is resigned to New Zealand being second best. He’s content with our country being a place of low wages and
less opportunity, where people are leaving in droves for jobs overseas and where we are falling behind the rest of the
"Labour's plan is very different. We will create wealth through innovation and by supporting our businesses. We can't
sit back and continue to see manufacturing jobs being shed - 40,000 have already been lost over the last four years.
Labour has real ideas that will make a difference. We will pay employers the equivalent of the dole to take on
apprentices, raise the minimum wage, create a world-class education system, foster innovation through research and
development tax breaks, tackle the high dollar by changing monetary policy and encouraging investment in the productive
sector through a capital gains tax.
"New Zealand needs to change," says David Shearer.
Darien Fenton, Labour's spokesperson on Labour issues, says the reintroduction of youth rates just confirms that John
Key's focus is on cutting wages rather than job creation.
"Paying young workers less just shows how bankrupt of ideas the Government is when it comes to tackling unemployment and
creating secure, decent jobs.
"Cutting young people's pay is just the tip of the iceberg. Changes to labour laws are also going to hit Kiwi workers
hard and make it harder to get fair wages.
"Kiwis are worried about job security and stagnating wages. They want smart new ideas not failed policies from the
past," says Darien Fenton.