Categorized | National News

Minimum Wage Disagreement ‘Inexplicable’

Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Chairman Fred Mitchell said it’s “inexplicable” that Cabinet ministers are unable to come to an agreement over whether minimum wage should be increased.  

“On Tuesday 13 August 2019, the Minister of Labour Dion Foulkes opined that the government had begun a discussion on the raise of the minimum wage. Today, the public was treated to the answer from ‘Dr. No’ in the government, Peter Turnquest, who said that unequivocally, a minimum wage increase would not happen. So who are we to believe?” Mitchell said yesterday. 

“We draw this disagreement around the Cabinet table to the attention of the public as yet another sign of an FNM government in disarray.  Members of the Cabinet are unable to get their policies aligned with one another.”

The last minimum wage increase was ordered by former Minister of Labour Shane Gibson under the PLP in 2015.

“The increase was 40 percent. This was done in order to soften the effects of implementing the VAT, to ease the burden of new taxation. The same ought to have been done by this government in the face of their 60 percent VAT hike,” Mitchell explained.

“Indeed, the PLP is proposing to go further and that is to work toward a livable wage for employees in this country.

“The facts now also show that notwithstanding all the crowing from the rafters about the drop in the unemployment figures, the PLP was right to warn them in our statement not to pop the champagne corks too early. It turns out that the number of people who are unemployed in the country is greater than when the FNM came to office in 2017. It turns out that economically, we are simply marking time and standing still. The so called growth in the economy is turning out to be fiction.

“The Progressive Young Liberals use the phrase: ‘No lie lasts forever’

“It certainly seems that as slow is it may be, the truth is coming out about the deceits of the Free National Movement.”

Turnquest revealed at a press conference on Wednesday that the government has not given any detailed consideration on increasing minimum wage as the government believes it is unnecessary, according to its data.   

“We, of course, know that there has been some increase in the cost of living as a result of the increase of the value added tax and the deflection rate shows that, but the trend also shows that is evening out and as we expect over time it will start to normalize,” Mr. Turnquest explained.

“It’s a function how we can see the economy perform, how any minimum increase would affect are current growth projection, and it will mean to the increase in the cost of living as a result in the potential increase in the wage and what dampening affect that may have on employment and the economy.”    

Written by Jones Bahamas

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