Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin, the Minister of Labour, will convene “a very important meeting” of the National Minimum Wage Advisory Committee next week, and the United Progressive Party (UPP) is taking credit for prodding him into action.
A press release from the Party published this afternoon, February 18, notes that Political Leader Harold Lovell has been making a case for a review of the National Minimum Wage, “with the objective of increasing earnings to a ‘National Living Wage.’”
The UPP has also promised that, upon assuming office, it will hold consultations with the employer-organisations and unions, so that all the stakeholders can arrive at “a fair and viable living wage.”
This, Lovell has said, is the right thing to do, given the significant increase in the cost of living and, in particular, in food prices, which is driving poor families into deeper poverty and challenging the middle class.
The last review of wages was undertaken by the UPP in 2013, but it took the Browne Administration two years to implement the Committee’s recommendations, the Political Leader says.
At present, he says, the minimum wage stands at $8.20 an hour, which he declares is “simply not acceptable in 2022.”
Lovell says he is gratified that his “points have finally penetrated the indifference of the Labour Minister and Gaston Browne.”
“We are the ‘People First’ Party,” the Political Leader declares. “And if it means that we are the ones who have to feed this Government with ideas that redound to the people’s benefit, so let it be.
“It goes to prove, without a doubt, that the UPP is the right choice.”
The UPP says it is looking forward to speedy results coming out of the Labour Minister’s meeting with the Advisory Committee.