The PNP’s call for a 60 percent hike in the National Minimum Wage has apparently been shut down by State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Zavia Mayne. The State Minister is questioning the figure being put forward by the opposition while noting that consultations are already ongoing with the national minimum wage advisory committee regarding an increase.
On Wednesday, Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips indicated that the PNP would be lobbying for a change in the national minimum wage.
“Today, I am giving notice that the opposition will be demanding and fighting for the minimum wage to be increased to $12, 500.”
THE PNP’S demand is a 60 percent jump from the present $7000 for a 40-hour week which Phillips described as being insufficient, and a major contributor to the 30 percent increase in urban poverty.
State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Zavia Mayne has responded to Phillips’ announcement:
“I cannot say where that number of 60 percent came from. The fact of the matter is that there is a Minimum wage commission and the commission is at work. The last information that we have is that the islandwide consultations are complete and the commission is at work putting together. At the end of it, a recommendation will be made and from there the matter goes to the Cabinet.”
The minimum wage was last increased by 12.9 percent for a 40-hour workweek from $6200 to $7000 in 2018.
The National Wage Advisory Commission is responsible for recommending changes to the minimum wage to the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Shahine Robinson based on consultations conducted islandwide.
With the PNP demanding a change to the minimum wage, can the public anticipate an increase in 2020?
“Yes, the extent of the increase I cannot say but we anticipate the report,” Mayne added.
Khadijah Thomas is an energetic and charismatic news reporter and the producer of weekly feature: Missing. Khadijah is a passionate about news and current affairs and has a particular interest social justice and education.