Of minimum wage vs liveable wage and pensioners

Friday, January 18, 2019

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Dear Editor,

Having watched the current debate regarding minimum wage and liveable wage, permit me to add my two cents.

Most people have come down on the side that the current $7,000 weekly minimum wage is not liveable.

While this may be so, many people have been placed into a position of having to hussle to supplement this sum.

However, others have decided to settle for the paltry $7,000 and make do as best they can.

Notwithstanding, I urge those involved with the implementation of the minimum wage to spare a thought for the poor pensioners.

True, they received an increase last year, but there are many who earn less than half the minimum wage per forthnight.

They have to pay General Consumption Tax on items purchased just like all others.

Recently, at a Christmas treat for the elderly in Portmore, Opposition spokesman Fitz Jackson pointed out his intention is to take a Bill to Parliament to assist with the plight of our senior citizens. I would like to proffer the following suggestion for Jackson's consideration in making his pitch:

Scores of senior citizens contributed to the National Housing Trust (NHT) and never benefited by way of owning a home. Instead of using funds from the NHT to assist with budget shortfalls and bail-outs, as was the case with Outameni, why not do so to supplement the meagre forthnighly disbursement to our pensioners to a minimum of $5,000 fortnightly?

I am willing to bet this will be far less than the billions raided annually for budget shortfall.

At least a $10,000 payment monthly for our pensioners would put people in a much better place than they are now.

After all, one of the ways by which a society is judged is how it takes care of its elderly.

Donovan Plummer

St Andrew

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