Business groups warn against a minimum wage hike
The Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (MSME) Alliance and the Small Business Association of Jamaica (SBAJ) say job cuts are certain if the Jamaica Labour Party Government goes ahead with a proposal to increase the minimum wage.
The JLP has pledged to increase the minimum wage to $8,200 a week from the current $6,200.
But the President of the SBAJ, Hugh Johnson, says the government needs to be 'realistic'.
The MSME Alliance president Donovan Wignall says he does not think any employer will want to increase salaries now based on Jamaica's current economic conditions.
While the government has committed to implementing the $1.5 million tax break this financial year, it has not set a timeline for the new minimum wage.
The JLP has argued that the tax break and the increase in minimum wage would trigger more spending in the local economy and the creation of thousands of jobs.
Jamaica has an unemployment rate of 13.5 per cent with youth unemployment at 30 per cent.