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PSOJ head hails Clarke’s concession of slow trickle-down despite macro growth

Published:Friday | March 24, 2023 | 12:08 AM

Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ) President Metry Seaga has lauded Finance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke for recognising that although the economy was doing well on the macro scale, it was not trickling down to the people, “as he would have liked”, noting that the government presented a “good Budget”.

Despite this, Seaga noted that the 44-per-cent increase in the minimum wage announced last week might not be enough for low-wage earners.

“It is huge, but it’s not huge enough. We want people to be paid more and I think that the minimum wage had to be increased. The government chose 44 per cent, and I am hopeful it will help those that are at the lower pay scales,” he told The Gleaner on Monday.

And while acknowledging concerns that small and medium-size operations might have to lay off staff to accommodate the increase in the minimum wage, Seaga urged those businesses to find the “right balance”, arguing that the Holness administration has accomplished this with the wage increase.

“I think the government has struck the right balance [with the minimum wage]. Some people were talking about $15,000 and I think that this $13,000 is the right balance, but time will tell,” he said.

The PSOJ president also commended the government’s decision to remove administrative fees from the HEART/NSTA Trust, expressing hope that this measure will address the deficit of skilled labourers in the economy.