Golding says future PNP Government will adjust minimum wage annuallySunday, October 17, 2021
Opposition Leader and President of the People's National Party (PNP) Mark Golding, has promised that a future PNP government will adjust the national minimum wage annually to reflect the rising cost of living.
At the same time Golding is urging the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government to honour the promise made by its then spokesman on finance, Audley Shaw, to raise the minimum wage to at least $12,000 per week
Golding made the pronouncements on Sunday as he addressed the 83rd annual conference of the PNP via Zoom, in light of restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In Jamaica, the minimum wage does not reflect the actual cost of living. We (the PNP) are committed to establishing a livable minimum wage so that people who are …employed are able to feed and look after their families,' said Golding.
“The next PNP Administration commits to annual increases in the minimum wage to keep up with the cost of living. We will protect our workers,” Golding added.
He argued that minimum wage earners had been waiting for too long for an increase in light of the recent increase in the cost of living, in particular rising food prices.
The opposition leader took a swipe at Shaw, noting that several years ago he promised a minimum wage of $12,000 but failed to keep that promise.
“I'm calling on this government to move the current minimum wage to $12,000 and repair that broken promise that was made to the Jamaican people,” Golding said.
Last increased in June 2018, the national minimum wage stands at $7,000 per week and $8,854 per week for industrial security guards.
While he was Opposition spokesman on finance in January, 2016, a month before general election which the JLP won on February 25 that year, Shaw called for the minimum wage to be pegged to the United States dollar at US$5,000 per annum.
Based on the exchange rate at the time, a worker would earn approximately J$604,000 per annum or about $12,500 per week.