Deputy PM supports revising minimum wage rate

June 12, 2024 6:50 am

There is sufficient evidence to support a revision of the minimum wage rate, says Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Cooperatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications Manoa Kamikamica.

This statement comes in response to comments by Unity Fiji Party Leader and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Savenaca Narube who has urged the government to raise the minimum wage to $5 or more.

Kamikamica states that a committee is currently doing consultations on the minimum wage.

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“As Cabinet, we will await the result of that process.”

Narube highlights the recent significant salary increases for Members of Parliament as a factor complicating the government’s position on moderating wage increases.

He expresses concern over the rising demands for higher pay and questioned how the government would justify rejecting these demands given their own salary hikes.

Narube emphasizes the need for a strategic approach to address immediate budgetary needs and to plan for medium- to long-term economic growth.

“We need some structural transformation shifts, then what are those? I think we need to provide the right platform to diversify the economy where to diversification, I think the obvious one is towards natural resources.”

The Unity Fiji Party Leader also criticized previous budgets for lacking a clear vision for economic development, noting that Fiji’s average annual economic growth of less than three per cent is insufficient to create necessary jobs and income.

To achieve higher growth rates of five or six per cent per annum, Narube called for structural transformation of the economy.

He suggested diversifying the economy particularly towards natural resources and increasing productivity.

Narube proposed reforms in public financial management and the land tenure system to support economic transformation.

He adds that these structural shifts and increased welfare spending are essential for long-term economic stability and growth, predicting that the benefits of these changes would be evident within five years.