Youth supports wage subsidy: Survey

By Drum Digital
23 May 2012

Three-quarters of young South Africans support the idea of a youth wage subsidy, a recent survey has found.

They believed it would make it easier for young people to find jobs, help the economy grow, and solve the problem of unemployed youth.

In addition, most respondents (44 percent) disagreed with the Congress of SA Trade Unions' (Cosatu) stance against the wage subsidy.

At the same time, most also expressed dissatisfaction with the Democratic Alliance's decision to march on Cosatu House.

TNS South Africa, in conjunction with FSMS, polled 538 young people on the subsidy between May 16 and 20 this year in a short mobile telephone survey.

Those who responded were mostly those likely to be affected most -- aged under 24 years (55 percent) -- with a further 27 percent aged 25 to 30 years.

The results showed that 77 percent supported the idea, 11 percent did not, and 12 percent gave a "don't know" response.

Among those supporting the idea, 80 percent were aged 16 to 24 years, while the support dropped somewhat to 66 percent for those aged 31 years and over.

There were only minor differences across the different language groups and no gender differences.

Some 96 percent of the respondents agreed it was important to solve the problem of unemployed youth and 73 percent agreed a youth wage subsidy would make it easier for young people to find jobs.

Some 65 percent also agreed a youth wage subsidy would help the economy grow.

Conversely, 42 percent agreed the subsidy would be a further burden to taxpayers, 24 percent disagreed, and 34 percent "don't know".

Some concern (19 percent) was also expressed that the subsidy would put people who had jobs at risk of losing them, 43 percent disagreed, and 37 percent "don't know".

Furthermore, 31 percent agreed that under the subsidy young people would not be paid what they were worth, while 32 percent disagreed and 37 percent again "don't know".

On the roles of Cosatu and the DA, who had been at loggerheads about the wage subsidy, only 25 percent agreed that Cosatu was correct in opposing the subsidy while 44 percent disagreed.

The trade union federation was also accused by 36 percent of respondents of not caring about the problem of unemployed youth while finding favour with 33 percent.

Equally, 40 percent felt that the DA should not have marched on Cosatu House last week as opposed to 27 percent who disagreed and 33 percent who said "don't know".

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