Following on from the government’s (now launched) scheme to bribe employers into taking on unemployed youngsters, the Welsh ‘government’ – in an effort not to be out done – has gone one step further and will subsidise the entire cost of employing someone under 24 for a period of 6 months:
The Jobs Growth Wales programme commences in April 2012 and will create 4,000 jobs a year for job ready young people throughout Wales. The programme will cater for young people that are job ready but have had difficulty securing employment. Participants will be paid at or above the national minimum wage for a minimum of 25 hours per week. Young people will be employed for the duration of the programme and the jobs created must be additional to, and not replace, positions that would otherwise be filled.
Whilst some may no doubt see it as admirable that the State has stepped in to cover the cost of employing people who have otherwise been unable to get a job, my reactions can be summed up thusly:
- By insisting on these being new jobs, the tax payer is going to be subsiding jobs in the private sector that probably otherwise wouldn’t exist. Are we going to find ourselves with a glut of experienced paperclip shufflers from October onwards?
- By subsidising the entire cost, the Welsh ‘government’ appears to be saying that the actual value of the labour involved – and thus the value of the job done – is zero.
- This is further proof – as if it were needed – that the rate of the National Minimum Wage (£6.08 for those over 21) is far too high and that people (and the private sector) in Wales would clearly benefit from it being (if it is to continue to exist) set at a rate more commensurate with the costs of the local area.
Further food for thought comes in the shape of potential legal action from those who are 25 and over on the grounds of discrimination.
Does anyone, outside of the most deluded, still think that government interference is a) properly thought through and b) in any way useful?