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ANALYSIS: Minimum Wage Rate And A Few Facts

National Federation Party leader Bi­man Prasad was on the FBC TV’s 4 The Record programme. On the programme, he was asked if any of the NFP candidates were paying their
27 Sep 2018 12:46
ANALYSIS: Minimum Wage Rate And A Few Facts
National Federation Party leader Biman Prasad outside Parliament.

National Federation Party leader Bi­man Prasad was on the FBC TV’s 4 The Record programme. On the programme, he was asked if any of the NFP candidates were paying their staff the $5 an hour minimum wage rate his party was advocating for.

He did not give a direct answer. Instead, Mr Prasad told the show that he had been told by ‘businesses’ that they could afford to pay their staff $5 an hour. He also said his provi­sional candidates were under no obligation to pay $5 an hour because it was not a policy, yet.

There are few issues here, which cannot go unchallenged. Firstly, the law says people cannot be paid under $2.68 an hour. It does not stop businesses from paying their staff more. So the argument that Mr Prasad has advanced while quoting nameless business­men do not really hold water.

If they are indeed able to pay $5 an hour, they should very well go ahead and do so. Nothing is stopping them from doing it.

And, secondly, what better example than having the provisional candidates of NFP leading the charge by paying their own staff well above the minimum wage rate.

Are they willing to put their money where their mouths are? Or are they talking about increasing minimum wage rate because $5 an hour makes for good campaign talking points?

Mr Prasad also said companies would continue to hire the staff members they needed. That is correct. But, one only needs to look at various international studies to know that unsustainable increase in mini­mum wage rate is directly linked with in­crease in unemployment rate.

If some businessmen have indeed had such conversations with Mr Prasad, all he had to do was ask them what was stopping them from paying their staff members $5 or $6 or even $10 an hour for that matter.

Or are these business people hoping that Government will offset any increase in min­imum wage rate by giving these businesses incentives in the forms of tax rebate?

If that is the case, are they waiting for a scenario where Peter is robbed to pay Paul?

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

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