Bala criticizes the implementation of NMW

July 8, 2024 4:30 pm

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Sakiasi Ditoka [left] and Opposition Member of Parliament Parveen Bala [Source: Parliament of the Republic of Fiji/Facebook]

The lag in the implementation of the minimum wage, with a nominal increase to $4.50 in August 2024 and an additional 50 cents in April 2025, is deeply troubling Opposition Member of Parliament Parveen Bala.

Bala believes that the slow approach coupled with a low starting point will result in little relief against the backdrop of continuous inflation and rising living costs.

He believes that the poor will continue to suffer.

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Bala believes that the extra $1 per hour does not extend enough to meet their extra cost of living, as reflected in the basic groceries in their basket.

“Many of our poor will be reduced to poor, healthy choices, if any, adding to our productivity issues. The removal of benefits and the imposition of additional taxes on charitable and sporting organizations show a lack of empathy and understanding of the critical role these organizations play in our society.”

Bala asserts that high-end businesses continue to receive favorable treatment, which only widens the gap between the rich and the poor.

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development Sakiasi Ditoka says they are developing a program of growth and enhancing reforms.

Ditoka adds that this budget supports the government’s commitment to bridging the development inequalities existing between rural and urban areas.