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10.7 per cent minimum wage increase is an insult to workers – opposition

Published:Wednesday | January 20, 2016 | 1:25 AM

Opposition members of parliament yesterday took issue with the 10.7 per cent increase in the national minimum wage, labelling it an insult to workers.

The increase was announced in Parliament yesterday by Labour and Social Security Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson.

As of March 1, the new minimum wage for a 40-hour work week will be $6,200 up from $5,600 while the minimum wage for industrial security guards will be $8,854 up from $8,198.

However, a testy stand-off between government and opposition members of the House of Representatives nearly overshadowed the increase.

Opposition members of parliament pushed back at the announcement of a 10.7 per cent increase in the national minimum wage, and eight per cent increase for security guards.

South East Clarendon MP Rudyard Spencer argued that the increase being granted was insufficient.

 

South East Clarendon MP Rudyard Spencer

Spencer suggested that a committee of the House should deliberate and seek to find a way to arrive at a liveable wage.

He said a minimum wage committee would eliminate the need for Parliament constantly reviewing minimum wages.

However, Dr Fenton Ferguson, labour and social security minister said it is the best that can be done at this time.

 

Labour and Social Security Minister, Dr Fenton Ferguson

The national minimum wage was last increased in January 2014.