NEWS

$2.90 An hour To Beat Inflation: Professor

“The main thing is that the employees have already suffered the increase in inflation rate and it is time to correct it,” Mr Gangopadhyay said.
30 May 2019 10:35
$2.90 An hour To Beat Inflation: Professor
The Professor of Economics from the School of Business, Western Sydney University in New South Whales, Australia, Dr Partha Gangopadhyay during his presentation at the Sigatoka Town Council on May 29, 2019. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

An Australian university professor has proposed a minimum wage rate of $2.90 could avoid employees paying inflation tax.

Speaking to the more than 50 workers was the Professor of Economics from the School of Business, Western Sydney University in New South Wales, Australia, Partha Gangopadhyay during discussion on the National Minimum Wage and Wage-Regulations in Fiji at the Sigatoka Town Council yesterday.

“The main thing is that the employees have already suffered the increase in inflation rate and it is time to correct it,” Mr Gangopadhyay said.

“Every minimum wage household is paying $550 a year of inflation tax and so we have to rectify that, we have to raise the minimum wage so that they don’t pay it.”

He said the minimum wage rate in Fiji should be $2.90 so that employees won’t have to pay the huge amount of inflation tax every year.

“They have paid it already and what is important is to stop that and to improve their living standards. And we proposed that $3.10 is the max because it may cause job losses and that is the fear.

“I think we have to go above three and part of the reason is the inflation rate.”

Mr Gangopadhyay added although the discussions yesterday were mainly held around the topic of decreasing the inflation rate, the main driver was productivity.

“We are proposing but the main driver should be productivity. The problem that employees are saying is funding, which should be used for up-skilling workers,” he said.

“I think that it is a critical juncture that the Fiji economy can go upwards but it can have severe problems because of skill shortage.”

Edited by Susana Tuilau

nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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