The People’s Employment Party (PEP) is supportive of an increase of the minimum wage, but warns that such a move will require proper implementation, because a rash approach can affect the economy.
During the 27 October radio broadcast the topic was raised by PEP Public Relations Officer, Mr. Lorie Rymer. In explaining the need for careful consideration before embarking on the increase, Mr. Rymer said: “In the soft economy that we have now, we can damage it and end up losing jobs. There are many ways that the administration may want to look at increasing the minimum wage. It could be for example done by increments; you can have one third now, one third at a certain point in the future and the other third, and so on and so forth.”
The PEP Member described the increase of the minimum wage as a complicated matter and urged that care be exercised: “We must be very careful, it is a rather complicated matter. Although we in principle would support an increase of the minimum wage, we do not want to do it blindly, it must be tied to other things as well,” he said.
Chair of PEP, Hon. Alvin Christopher also mentioned his support of a minimum wage increase and mentioned that there are other wage related issues that need to be looked into in the tourism sector. The Chair of PEP said that there are complaints about tourism industry employers withholding service tax etc: “I am sad to say that this is one industry that is highly exploited and even though there is a Government policy in place for the withholding of tax for service.”
“You get so many complaints from persons who work in this industry that the people within this industry withhold that service share and then turn around and use it as wages… That is a vexing matter within the Labour Department and one we hope that when the report is submitted, that this Minimum Wage Committee will find some way to address that problem and ensure that it does not continue,” Hon. Christopher added.