Tuesday 21st Dec 1999
Media Release -- Economy
The experience around the world is that minimum wages and youth rates cost jobs, says ACT Leader Richard Prebble.
"In European countries where there are very high minimum wages there are very high levels of youth unemployment. In
countries as Germany and Spain where the economy is strong, they have chronic youth unemployment caused solely by laws
that force employers to pay young people more than they are worth to the company.
"The trade union movement's support for high minimum wages and for abolishing youth rates is to set up arguments for
wage relativity increases. The government, by increasing the minimum wage by 8%, has established a benchmark for wage
and benefit increases. It's safe to predict that the trade union movement will now be asking for an 8% across the board
"We are back into the industrial relations of the 1980s."
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