Conservative Minister Matt Hancock Says Under-25s Not 'Productive' Enough For New Minimum Wage
The Debrief: Young people aren’t being included in the national minimum wage raise because they’re 'not as productive' as over 25s. And they're annoyed about it.
What with all the egging, pig masks, and protest signs held by Charlotte Church, the Tory conference, held this week in Manchester, has caused a bit of a social media stir.
And now, comments made by Matt Hancock, Tory Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General, have pissed off lots of Twitter users, especially the ones under the age of 25.
Speaking at a fringe event, 37-year-old Hancock, who is also MP for West Suffolk, said that young people are 'not as productive' as older members of society when it comes to work.
His comments were made in defense of George Osborne’s decision to only raise the minimum wage for people aged 25 or over.
Next April, the minimum wage will be raised by 50p to £7.20 an hour (eventually to £9 by 2020) but only for workers aged 25 or over. Anyone under that age will receive the current hourly minimum wage of £6.70 (over 21s) and £5.30 (18-20s.)
Which brings us back to Hancock, and his reasoning for this wage disparity.
'This was an active policy choice. Youth unemployment, whilst falling quite sharply, is still a long way above the unemployment rate for the over 25s,' He said. 'Anybody who has employed people knows that younger people, especially in their first jobs, are not as productive, on average. Now there are some who are very productive under the age of 25 but you have to set policy for the average. It was an active choice not to cover the under 25s.'
The MPs comments have understandably enraged lots of hard-working under-25s. The lazy bunch have even been bothered to get out of bed and send some tweets giving him what for.
Using the hashtag #at25, people are sharing their professional stories, essentially sticking two fingers to the Conservatives’ idea that young people are un-productive.
Im 21. Worked since 18, all the way through college and uni. Now on MSc and still working part time jobs. Do I not deserve min wage? #at25— Kayleigh Wilkins (@93Kayleigh) October 7, 2015
I'm 22, have worked since I was 16 to make sure I could stay in education and am apparently too unproductive to deserve wage parity? #at25— Rachel Holland (@rholl92) October 6, 2015
Everyone go check out the #at25 feed and realise that the talk about under 25s not deserving pay parity is utter spiteful rubbish.— Samantha Sparrow (@SamRSparrow) October 6, 2015
In the age of zero-hours contracts, unpaid internships and graduate unemployment, the government's decision, and Hancock’s comments, are far from the professional boost young people need right now.
Apparently they’ll just have to carry on working hard for themselves, with or without that extra 50p.
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Picture: Sophie Davidson
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