Minimum wage to have an ‘impact’

THE increase in the national minimum wage will make a significant impact on the lives of Fijian people, says Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations Jone Usamate.

He made the remarks after the announcement of the increase in national minimum wage from $2.32 to $2.68 by Economy Minister and Attorney-General, Aiyaz Sayed- Khaiyum during the national budget announcement on Thursday night.

“We have the national minimum wage that makes sure we can look after the most marginalised in our society, but when you look at the national minimum wage you also look at all the other benefits,” Mr Usamate said.

“We are very glad that the national minimum wage has been announced today. It will make a significant impact on the lives of our people.

“We are satisfied. We just have to work on it and use it to our maximum ability and to the maximum outcome.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum also said those who advocated for arbitrary minimum wage rise for the workforce were trying to gain political mileage.

He said raising the wage too much can cause loss of jobs.

Meanwhile, the ministry was given an allocation of $16.5 million for the next financial year comprising $15.8million for operating expenditure and VAT of $0.7m.

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