Un­em­ploy­ment and child al­lowances

Finweek English Edition - - LETTERS -

I’M SURE EV­ERY rea­son­able per­son sup­ports the pro­grammes to re­duce un­em­ploy­ment and cre­ate jobs, though we’ll cer­tainly dif­fer about the best way of do­ing so. On the other hand, Cosatu wants to ar­range strikes to ne­go­ti­ate bet­ter re­mu­ner­a­tion for work­ers who al­ready have jobs. This ac­tion will in­evitably have a neg­a­tive ef­fect on job cre­ation and re­sult in fewer jobs. I’m not try­ing to sup­port the huge dif­fer­ences be­tween the salaries of work­ers and ex­ec­u­tives and, in a coun­try like SA, man­agers at all lev­els have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to be rea­son­able.

We know job cre­ation and the im­prove­ment of salaries are both im­por­tant – and both must be ad­dressed. But the ques­tion is: Which ac­tion must be given pref­er­ence? My feel­ing is the em­pha­sis must be placed on job cre­ation, which will at least al­low peo­ple to sur­vive and also pro­vide train­ing.

How­ever, that brings me to a point I’d like to make: re­strict­ing the growth of fam­i­lies when peo­ple don’t have the means to sup­port their chil­dren. Fam­ily plan­ning will cer­tainly not solve the cur­rent un­em­ploy­ment prob­lem, but it will help to im­prove things in the fu­ture.

The prob­lem of un­em­ploy­ment is ag­gra­vated by child al­lowances (or per­haps it’s cre­ated by these al­lowances). We’re all con­cerned about the suf­fer­ing and care of chil­dren but is the suf­fer­ing not per­haps caused by those al­lowances?

My pro­posal is an al­lowance and train­ing must be made avail­able to unem­ployed peo­ple who can prove they have no chil­dren – or, at most, one child – and child al­lowances must be big­ger and more at­trac­tive. At the same time, child al­lowances must be phased out. I feel that would ad­dress the prob­lem.

Fam­ily plan­ning (or what­ever it may be called) is the foun­da­tion for solv­ing the prob­lem of un­em­ploy­ment and sub­se­quently bet­ter wages will hap­pen au­to­mat­i­cally, be­cause the de­mand for labour will ex­ceed the sup­ply.

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