10 Oct 2014

Super spend 'at the expense of teens'

6:52 pm on 10 October 2014

The Salvation Army says the Government's pledge to spend more on superannuation is being made at the expense of at-risk youth.

An analysis by the organisation shows the number of teenagers not in work or study has increased sharply since 2007.

It said at the same time the Government has cut the budgets of training courses to help young people into work.

The Salvation Army's social policy analyst, Alan Johnson said the Government's commitment to spend an extra $600 million a year on superannuation meant spending is being squeezed in other areas.

"It has been set up so that there is a trade off being made between the interests of the old and the interests of the young, and we think that trade off should be more openly debated than it is."

The Salvation Army says 75,000 teenagers are currently without work or training, up from 65,000 in 2007, while training placements are down.

But Minister for Tertiary, Skills and Employment Steven Joyce said those figures were not correct as there were now 30,000 more teenagers in training or education compared to seven years ago.

Mr Joyce said while the government had increased its spending on superannuation, it had also improved the results for young people in education.

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