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Opinion: minimum wage increase in Fiji to boost economic growth

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Fiji’s National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad said the Government should not engage in scare mongering tactics about the need for the minimum living wage.

Prof Prasad said this while responding to the Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum’s comments that increasing the minimum wage rate from $2.68 per hour to $4 (US$1.30 -(US$2) would have inflation impacts on the Fijian economy, reports Fiji Times.

Prof Prasad said experiences from elsewhere had shown that whenever minimum living wages were suggested, conservative governments and businesses quickly gave job losses and inflation as an excuse to reject it.

“But that is not the outcome when those wages are implemented. Indeed, if you increase people’s wages, they have more money to spend on goods and services and that is good for business,” he said.

He said for all the talk of economic growth, the burden of that growth had been carried by the poorest people of this country.

Meanwhile, the Textile Clothing and Footwear (TCF) Council of Fiji has expressed its concerns over trade unionists’ call for Government to push the minimum wage from $2.68 per hour to $4.00 per hour.

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