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Monday, 29 August 1994
Page: 488


Senator MICHAEL BAUME —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes that:

    (i)for many awards, the Government's new youth training wage does not involve any discounting of award wages, despite the propaganda that it does, and so provides a strong disincentive for employers to take on young trainees, resulting in Mr Ross Gittens describing it in the Sydney Morning Herald of 29 August 1994 as a combination of stupidity and perfidy,

    (ii)for many awards, the new youth training wage rates are much higher than the present award rates, so that, for an 18-year old just completing year 12 it is $44 a week or 26 per cent higher than under the present NSW clerk's award, $40 more than the timber award, $34 more than the Tasmanian and Victorian restaurants award, $23 more than the furnishing trades award, $14 more than the warehousing and distribution award, vehicle service award and Queensland retail award, $8 more than the Commonwealth Bank officers award, $6 more than the Victorian shop assistants award and $5 more than the NSW public service clerical award,

    (iii)the additional $1 000 taxpayer-funded subsidy on top of the existing $2 000 subsidy required to pay for this abject governmental capitulation to the Australian Council of Trade Unions demands will only apply to young people unemployed for between 12 to 18 months, so leaving a serious disincentive to many employers instead of the incentive the Government pretends it to be, and

    (iv)that once young people complete their training and become more skilled, their pay is cut when they go off the artificially higher training wage and revert to the age-related wage in their relevant awards; and

  (b)condemns the Government for its incompetent youth training wage scheme which discourages employers from taking trainees, wastes millions of dollars of taxpayers money overcoming the problems this scheme created and will not solve the crisis of youth unemployment that this Government's policies have brought about.