Young people's wage discrimination must stop

October 16, 2006 12:40 PM

Today, Jenny Willott, Liberal Democrat Youth Spokesperson, called for an end to the unfair minimum wage discrimination that leaves over 27,000 young people in Wales earning less than their older counterparts for doing the same work.

Commenting, Jenny said:

"It is appalling that the Government discriminates against young people in this way.

"The recent age discrimination legislation, suggests that the Government believes it is unacceptable for age to indicate the quality of an individual's contribution. In which case, it is surely absurd for someone aged 16 to be paid less than someone aged 18, who in turn is paid less than someone aged 21, for doing the same work.

"The blanket approach of lowering the minimum wage for all 16-21 year olds to give them an advantage in the job market may help in some cases, but for all young people to be paid less to improve the job prospects of a few is deeply unfair.

"Young people in Wales today face an unrelenting barrage of financial demands from the rising cost of living, the lack of affordable housing and student fees. It is little wonder then that debt and bankruptcies amongst young people have increased so much in recent years.

"Young people deserve and need equal pay now more than ever."

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