NEWS

A-G: Study Will Decide Pay Rise

A FijiFirst campaign gathering at Navua has been told that the Government would have to conduct a study before implementing a minimum wage rate rise. The gathering was told that
29 Oct 2018 16:00
A-G: Study Will Decide Pay Rise
Going strong... FijiFirst Party general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum with supporters after the rally at Vashist Muni College, Navua, on October 28, 2018. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum had a long and busy day on the campaign trail, starting at Rakiraki in the morning. Photo: Simione Haravanua

A FijiFirst campaign gathering at Navua has been told that the Government would have to conduct a study before implementing a minimum wage rate rise.

The gathering was told that there were issues such as sustainability, avoiding likely job losses and maintaining economic prosperity to consider before any minimum wage rate rise.

General secretary of FijiFirst Party
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum cleared the air surrounding the minimum wage rate proposed by political parties while speaking at an FFP rally at Rampur Primary School in Navua yesterday.

“I saw a tweet from Richard Naidu, a lawyer for National Federation Party, saying that this government is not accepting the increase in minimum wage. He obviously has not read the budget or read our speeches,” he said.

“We have said that any sudden increase in wages, particularly minimum wage will have a detrimental impact on the economy and jobs.

“We need to do a study on exactly how much the wages should go up by. Not only for unskilled people, but also for everybody else.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said all the political parties have been talking about unskilled workers, but what had been said about skilled workers.

“If unskilled workers get $5/hour from $2.68/hour, and a skilled worker gets $6/hour, what do you think will happen,” he asked

Mr Sayed Khaiyum said if unqualified people get a pay rise of this amount, there will be much more anticipation of pay increase by skilled workers.

“The increment that has to be done must be done responsibly,” he said.

“Last year we created 20,000 new jobs. The year before that 20,000 new jobs.”

He said for the first time in Fijian history, the Fijian economy had grown for nine years straight and was projected to grow another three years at least.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said he had visited five garment factories last Friday and explained the minimum wage rate.

“We are not opposed to a pay rise, but it has to be done in a sustainable manner so that we don’t lose jobs,” he said.

He said his main argument for the public was economic prosperity.

“If you want the continuity of economic prosperity, you need to be able to vote for this party, you have to vote for this party. None of the other political parties have a good economic plan,” Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said.

“NFP is saying that they will pass a law that says to all the businesses that you can’t fire anybody because of $5/hour, how can you do that?”

This will create unemployment and increase the inflation rate in Fiji, says Mr Sayed-Khaiyum.

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: sheenam.chandra@fijisun.com.fj

 

 

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