Black Business Council backs youth subsidy
THE Black Business Council has expressed its support of the proposed youth wage subsidy, calling for conditions to prevent exploitation.
The national Treasury proposed that the wages of all workers aged between 18 and 29, who earned less than R60,000 a year, the current tax threshold, be subsidised for a period of two years.
Registered employers would receive the subsidy via credits on their Pay As You Earn accounts. Treasury estimated that the programme would subsidise 423,000 workers. Of these, 245,000 jobs would be created.
The job creation plan proposes that the youth wage subsidy would reduce the financial costs of hiring inexperienced youth and help to make their training more affordable.
Cosatu has rejected the proposal, saying it would enable the private sector to get cheap labour and would result in jobs losses since firms would release older people to hire less expensive labour.
The Black Business Council (BBC) yesterday also endorsed the proposal, but said it should go with certain conditions.
"We should explore every possible avenue to fight unemployment, in particular among the youth population in which it is alarming," BBC spokesman Sandile Zungu said.
"An intervention aimed at encouraging people to employ young people, such as the youth wage subsidy, should be welcomed. We therefore welcome the youth wage subsidy."
But Zungu cautioned, saying: "Many times very smart interventions such as this have unintended consequence. Corporates would look at them as additional sources of revenue that would minimise their costs of employment.
"The focus should be the checks and balances to make sure that the concerns that have been expressed by Cosatu, which are legitimate, are not realised in the scheme."