Cabinet justifies 80-cents increase to the minimum wage as ‘the wisest decision’ and says it will cause no loss of jobs

The Cabinet is seeking to justify its decision for a 10 percent increase on the country’s minimum wage.

Last week, it was announced that, effective January 1, 2023, 80 cents will be added to the hourly pay rate – moving it from $8.20 to $9.00.

During its weekly sitting on Wednesday, November 23, the Executive discussed the matter.  Members agreed that a balance had been sought to ensure that no employee would be terminated because of the 10% increase, since it would not burden any employer. 

According to the Cabinet, “There would be no loss of jobs given the reasonable movement of the increase.”

Additionally, this week’s Cabinet Notes say, “At the same time, the delicately negotiated outcome, which took into account the interests of all parties – the union, the employers, the Government, the business community – was the wisest decision on which the Cabinet could agree.”

The National Minimum Wage Advisory Commission recently submitted its report, in which two recommendations were made: an $8.90 and a $10 an hour rate.  However, the Cabinet decided on a figure between both sums.

The Minimum Wage proposal will go before Parliament next Tuesday, November 29.

Meanwhile, Harold Lovell, Political Leader of the United Progressive Party (UPP), is still of the opinion that workers are getting “a raw deal” with the Prime Minister’s disrespectful treatment.

Negotiations for the last minimum-wage increase commenced under the UPP and were implemented in 2015.  Since then, Lovell says, inflation has doubled the rate of the proposed 10 percent increase, setting employees further back than they were seven years ago.

Lovell notes that the minimum wage affects mainly those workers on the lower level of the salary structure, including domestic workers, security officers, and many employees who are not unionized and are now struggling in the current economic circumstances.