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Renewed debate on youth wage subsidy

Cosatu wants the Employment Tax Incentive Bill, encouraging the hiring of young workers, withdrawn.

Members of Parliament have reacted with concern to Cosatu's opposition to the Employment Tax Incentive Bill. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - Members of Parliament (MPs) have reacted with concern to opposition from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) to the Employment Tax Incentive Bill, which encourages the hiring of young workers.

The legislation is intended to give effect to the youth wage subsidy.

Public hearings on the bill were held in Parliament on Tuesday.

Cosatu wants the bill to be withdrawn.

The trade union federation has threatened to make an urgent political intervention through the alliance to stop it from going ahead.

African National Congress (ANC) MP Zukile Luyenge says unions are not being fair in their opposition to the bill.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Tim Harris says Cosatu has managed to delay the implementation of the youth wage subsidy since 2010.

"With this intervention the National Treasury is trying to open up more opportunities for young people who, right now, are locked out of the labour market."

Labour unions have raised several concerns with the bill.

On top of the list is the possible displacement of unsubsidised workers.