Pay young people a decent wage

John Richardson writes: Re. “‘I want to work’: youth unemployment on the rise” (yesterday). I was almost reduced to tears by the comments attributed to Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) CEO Kate Carnell, when she boasted about her organisation’s proud support for moves to reduce the minimum wage, so as to incentivise her members to employ more young people.

Now I know that there are cynics out there who think that Carnell and the ACCI are only interested in pursuing the interests of their members. These poor, misguided individuals point to the fact that corporate profitability as a percentage of GDP has never been higher than it is today. They point to the fact that we now have a new class of employee in Australia — 2 million-plus casuals with no job security, no real prospects and little if any industrial representation, let alone the promise of paid maternity leave.

Fortunately for Carnell, the majority of Australians understand the kind of pressures that business is under these days, given that 60% of Australian companies and 70% of mining companies can’t afford to pay a dime in income tax.

Perhaps the cynics would have less reason to doubt the motives of Carnell the ACCI if its members could provide real evidence of their efforts to create employment opportunities for young Australians, rather than bitching about just “how expensive” they are?

Richard Davoren writes: It is no mystery as to why youth unemployment is rising. Youth unemployment is a tragedy largely caused by companies outsourcing thousands of entry-level jobs to Third World countries. Back office jobs and call centres in particular. This is an increasing trend. Apart from the unemployment it creates for young workers, their potential taxable earnings are lost to Australia, instead governments have to provide subsidies to the unemployed or as proposed by Abbott, pay them nothing and live with the social consequences.

Overseas companies blatantly advertise that they can do any back-office job more efficiently and at much lower cost than can be done in Australia. And these offers are being taken up in their thousands by big business and small business.

Independent? Prove it!

David Salter writes: Re. “Watchdog or attack dog? The Australian at 50” (yesterday). If our Prime Minister really wanted to kill what he described last night as the “urban myth” that The Australian isn’t a cipher for Rupert Murdoch, then he might have cited some instances when the paper consistently and strongly advocated a position on a major issue that it knew was at odds with the views of their proprietor.