Minimum Wage Rise Designed To Keep Low-Skilled Workers In Their Place

08 February 2011 09:49:00

Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath wonders whether the current government takes perverse pleasure in destroying job prospects for the young and low-skilled, or whether John Key and labour Minister Kate Wilkinson are merely “pig-ignorant Tories”.

“By increasing the minimum wage, National makes employers less likely to employ unskilled and low-skilled people who want to work,” he said.

“It is a matter of considerable embarrassment that senior members of the New Zealand government appear to lack the most elementary knowledge of economics.”

“Put simply, making a product that nobody wants (unskilled labour) more expensive means people (in this case, employers) are going to be even less inclined to buy it.”

“How can the low-skilled and unemployed enjoy the tax cuts that Kate Wilkinson crows about, when the government sabotages their chances of finding work?” he asked.

“Minimum wage laws especially hurt those ethnic groups over-represented among the low-skilled. It stops them from improving their skill levels and moving up the ladder to higher paying jobs.”

“This move will hurt young Maori, but what do we hear from Tariana Turia, Pita Sharples and Hone Harawira? Silence. Nothing.”

Dr McGrath said a Libertarianz government would abolish the minimum wage and let supply and demand in an open market determine the subjective value of a particular job.

“Why should it be any business of the government what one New Zealander pays another in exchange for their labour?”

McGrath called the Labour Party’s response to the minimum wage rise “totally predictable Marxian drivel. I could have written Annette King’s press statement for her.”

The Libertarianz Party leader challenged Annette King to push for a $100 an hour minimum wage if she truly believes, as the Tories seem to, that this would have no repercussions on unemployment figures.

For more information, please contact:

Dr Richard McGrath
Libertarianz Leader
Phone: 027 322 2907
Email: [email protected]

Libertarianz: More Freedom, Less Government
www.libertarianz.org.nz