Why the delay in increasing national minimum wage, UPP asks the ‘wicked and unconscionable’ Browne Administration

33
Benjamin

The United Progressive Party (UPP) is asking the Gaston Browne Administration to explain the delay in implementing an increase in the minimum wage after it convened the National Minimum Wage Advisory Committee earlier this year.

The Party is also reiterating its recommendation that the minimum wage be increased to a “living wage,” as the people continue to suffer unduly amid the steep rise in the cost of living.

Following these calls by the Party’s Political Leader, Harold Lovell, months ago, Minister of Labour Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin hastily moved to convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Friday, February 25.

However, up to Labour Day, May 1, members of the Committee reported that there had been no further movement. Now, more than five months after the first meeting, there still has been no progress or updates on if – or when – the minimum wage will be revised.

Taking inflation into account, Lovell says, the present minimum wage – which is $8.20 per hour – “is simply not acceptable in 2022.”

Therefore, “the UPP calls on the Administration to end their unconscionable delays in addressing the minimum wage, while also failing to tackle the rapidly rising prices of goods and services,” a release from the Party says.

Lovell is reminding the Nation that it was the UPP’s intervention, through the Minimum Wage Review Committee, that prompted increases in 2006 and 2008. The last increase, in 2015, was also the result of a review undertaken before the UPP left office, he notes.

The UPP Political Leader says the sitting administration “is wicked and unconscionable to leave the minimum wage unchanged for seven years, while the cost of goods and service has rapidly risen every single year.”

It is now clear, he says, that the Labour Party Government is not serious about ensuring that workers earn a living wage that will enable them to feed themselves and their families.

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33 COMMENTS

  1. Recall when in about 2012 the then UPP said they would increase the minimum wage, yet it was the ABLP who actually did it in 2015. Looking at the UPP 2009 manifesto, there is a boast on pg 24 that “it took a UPP Administration a mere four years to:
    • Increase the minimum wage” yet watch them attack the government for so far taking a few months

      • @Poverty – the 2009 UPP manifesto is available on-line. I even provided the page number. While you are browsing, don’t forget the UPP promise to implement unemployment insurance. Look I get you UPP followers need to live in an alternate reality, but its not a healthy practice. Stop living in your bathroom, go outside, drive around, experience A&B, so you can see the real progress being made

    • A few months TENMAN the ABLP is taking to increase the minimum wage. TENMAN if I did not think you were stupid before, I now think you are an ABLP blind idiot.

      • @Wadadli Man- Clearly you missed this part of the article: “following these calls by the Party’s Political Leader, Harold Lovell, months ago, Minister of Labour Steadroy “Cutie” Benjamin hastily moved to convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Friday, February 25.” Wadad..you really stepped in this one

        • TENMAN ask yourself if an action would have been taken by the government if Harold Lovell did not raise the issue. It is the same situation with the water tanks. Your ABLP government is always reacting. Tell them to be proactive and less reactive.

      • It is TENMAN’s mentor above with the mike that is why he so readily tries to justify the government’s tardiness re the minimum wage with his nonsensical comment. Because of Lovell’s comments the minimum wage issue will be settled before the next general elections as an election goodie.

        • Charles what is the UPP’s track record in raising the minimum wage in the ten years they were in office?

    • The UPP is so clueless about how to run an opposition. They attack the government on issues that they themselves do not have a good track record on. So, you can throw it back in their own face and tell them to hush. Their hope is that people have forgotten about the things they failed to do in the ten years that they were in office. But we will keep on reminding the people. Less we forget!
      UPP was a failed experiment. They cried for twenty-eight years that they would be a much better choice if we gave them a chance to prove themselves to us. We did and they ran the country right into the ground in the arms of the IMF. And they are so proud about that.
      Antigua should never make that mistake again.

  2. The idea of a “living wage” minimum wage ultimately results in fewer entry-level jobs and higher unemployment. For instance, in states and cities in the US where the minimum wage is $15.00 per hour, fast food restaurants like McDonald’s are replacing human workers with robots.
    Minimum wage jobs are an entry point not a career path.

    • @ Scott- which world are you living in?

      You guys constantly like to fool voters with your bull chit and lies!!!

      A moderate / decent minimum wage will raise employment by increasing the supply of workers. Don’t know what chit you chatting

      • Businesses operate with things called budgets. The largest budget item for all businesses is payroll, if payroll increases, as a business man I have two choices, cut payroll expense by terminating employees or go under.
        Sorry but thats the way it.

    • From your contributions on this platform, it is obvious that you do not live in Antigua.
      You don’t feel the pain of the people who are suffering. You don’t see the tears in the eyes of the pensioners as the bank teller informs them that the pension money has not been paid.
      You stay in foreign and have an idealised version of what is happening.
      God bless you.
      We, the people who are not in Gaston’s inner circle feel it. So happy for you that you are alright, so happy for you that you are not feeling the pain that we have to go through.
      As I say. God bless you!

      • I’m deeply sorry that you don’t understand basic economics.
        You’re correct, I’m in the US and I very much don’t want to see Antigua make the horrible mistakes that the US is making. $15.00/hour minimum wage is killing small business here.
        This is fact.
        God Bless you as well!

        • Those who live in ivory towers should turn on the central heating. Perhaps, just perhaps they might get a soul and feel the pain and the suffering of others.
          God bless you!

        • Stop comparing us to America and get off your high horse. Food in Antigua is AT LEAST twice as expensive as food in America. How are you comparing America’s issue with a $15us (40.50ec) minimum wage to Antiguans trying to live off $8.20 (3us) an hour?! They are not servers or bartenders making tips. They are government workers for the most part. No tips. No gov benefits along with the job. Now imagine you are making Antiguas minimum wage in America, you work 40hrs a week and take home $121us, now also imagine food for a 3 person family is no less 150us to get a basic varied diet, and that is living on the line. As a single person who eats healthily I am lucky to be able to spend $120us a week on eating. (And I’m very slim)…. Do you see where I’m going with this?! People cannot afford to eat! Why don’t you send us some food stamps, oh yeah, that doesn’t exist here either!! Stop forming biased, unrealistic opinions and comparing us to America, it is simply ridiculous.

          • I’m not comparing Antigua to america, I’m merely stating principles of econ 101. Raise minimum wage and Antiguan businesses that are just barely hanging on will go out of business or cut staffing.
            Where do you suppose Antiguan businesses will find the extra money to pay higher wages? Laser printer in the back room? Magic money fountain.
            Sorry boss, it doesn’t work that way…

  3. Here we go again!!! The UPP trying to fick up themselves further with their dunceness. All they have to do is to turn to their representatives on the Minimum Wage Committee through the union, ABWU and ask dem what ah gwarn. I am sure they can explain…. the UPP has representation on the committee. Tap fuiick around Antigua people long gone passed de dunce age, we are mnore educated bro.

    • @ Rastaman chant Jordan

      Ok brilliant one, you ever bothered to consider that NO ONE COULD GET AN ANSWER from those in authority whether or not they are on the committee – you sound so stupid and dunce just like a useful IDIOT

      • You don’t even know what the fucik is going on so it nah mek sense to talk to you. Me say, if UPP wanted to find out they could have checked with their ABWU, dem know but they trying to fucik with Antigua and Barbuda people mentality, what you think me nah know wha me ah say…DEM KNOW SO ASK DEM DEY, DEM HAB DE ANSWER. Fuick you telling me whether or not they are on the committee, dat mek sense to you? Dunce?? well if me dunce and understand dat suppose me min bright?

      • …and by the way, that part where it reads the UPP is making recommendations to have the minimum wage increase to a living wage is a perfect example of how UPP is fuciking around Antigua and Barbuda people’s minds. Based on the International Labour Organization standards, that must be followed so that is a given, no need for them to come and say they are recommending such, it is standard. Learn dat from a useful idiot, you just ah come and ah charge up against I and I and you dumb as fucik. I could neva vote for UPP again y’all deceptive no ficukk, and y’all play on people’s minds, especially when dem nah know better. Thank Jah I man see the light.

  4. PRIME EXAMPLE of “WICKED and UNCONSCIONABLE”………

    EC$150 million of taxpayers money went down the drain as a result of the UPP Wadadli Power Plant deal.

    “In chronicling the lead up to the shutdown of the plant, Matthias said that the 30-megawatt plant which housed six units already had rusting before the point of its commissioning in 2011 and was decommissioned 5 years later.”

    “While the electricity business unit manager stopped short of giving an amount, he said Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT.”

    https://antiguaobserver.com/wadadli-power-plant-closed/

    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT
    Antigua and Barbuda is STILL REPAYING DEBT FOR THE PLANT

    • WTH does this have to do with the minimum wage. Memories of your truancy and when you had to write lines in school or does your keyboard have a virus. I can see you were a slower learner in school and the handicap continues. This is why we need remedial classes for adults.

    • ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA STILL PAYING FOR THE IHI MILLION DOLLAR FRAUD
      THE ODEBRETCH SCANDAL
      THE WEST INDIES OIL SCAM
      THE FENCING SCAM FROM YOUR SUPPORTER WINSTON
      THE LAND FLIPPIING AT ENGLISH HARBOUR, LONG BAY, WILLOUGHBY BAY, DREDGE BAY
      NAMCO, AND THE LIST KEEPS ON COMING,
      ENRICHMENT, SALE OF WATER BY MINISTERS, GOUGING POOR PROPLE,
      FARMING LAND

    • I didn’t know, till now, that you are one of ‘those’ who are dependent on that particular medicine for their mental stability. Only your kind would be so repetitious with rolling eyes and frothing mouth. We are still indebted to Foster Wheeler for the first desalination plant after more than a quarter century. That’s what you should be concerned about.

    • With your comments in mind, are you suggesting a socialist/communist government funded minimum wage?
      If so, how is that going to be funded? Oh wait, through confiscatory levels of taxes.
      How cool, you get paid $2000 a week but lose 75 percent of it to taxes…
      …so raise the minimum wage again.
      Or maybe get a better job.

  5. Minimum wage is not something that you look at in isolation. If you increase the bottom, the middle and top will eventually also want a raise. I wrote a long comment on the salary disparity in Antigua years ago. It give somewhat the reason why our young boy drops out of school and goes into the job market, mainly construction, rather than to stay in school and get academically educated. It doesn’t pay to stay in school for them. And I gave an example. Take a young boy dropping out of school in fifth form and going to work in the construction sector. After four years he is a ‘qualified’ mason or plumber. He has learned his trade on the job. His salary is about $20.00 per hour. That’s about $3500.00 monthly. The other guy stays in school gets into a university and after four/five years graduates with about $200K debt burden. He now goes into the job market and earns about $3000.00, has a hard time paying back his student’s loan and he is financially not better off than the school drop off. There is also a disparity in professional fees. It is unregulated. You take your car to a mechanic, and it seems like you get charged based on whether the mechanic feels you can pay him, or that is the amount of money he wants to pay for the day. Nothing is based on an hourly rate. And that is the case with many professions. Whether it’s your doctor, lawyer, mechanic, plumber, electrician. There is no set regulated fee. And when you introduce a minimum wage, you must look at certain factors. How far are they behind the educated and non-educated workers? Are we going to set a minimum salary for every profession? And even for the self-employed. It is not that simple to just pick a number. Or say we have to have a livable wage. What is a livable wage? It’s for everyone different. Based on your standard of living. Some people are still living in something called a house without running water or a toilet which you can flush inside your house. That brings me to the government housing project for affordable homes for the lower class. Very commendable undertaking. It will improve the standard of living in this country. And those still living in those homes described will eventually be forced to move as well. Look at what the PM is trying to do in Boobey Alley. Some people just loved to see others live in ghettos but would never live in the ghetto themselves. And then there are the external economic factors to consider. We are competing for the investment dollars. And if we price ourselves through higher wages out of the already competitive investment market we will suffer in the end. We need to look at the standard in our region. Yet we cannot let that alone keep us from getting our people live a higher standard of living. That is why in the 80’s and 90’s we had an influx of our Caribbean neighbours into our country. Specifically, in the domestic and security market. Nowadays you will not find Antiguans in the security and domestic jobs. Remember it was a security officer that graduated with honors as a student from our Five Island University of the West Indies.
    https://antiguanewsroom.com/uwi-five-islands-valedictorian-applauded-by-the-ministers-of-government/
    Yes, we hear the calls for increasing the minimum wage, but you cannot do so willy nilly UPP. Some studies needs to go before that is done.

  6. …and by the way, that part where it reads the UPP is making recommendations to have the minimum wage increase to a living wage is a perfect example of how UPP is fuciking around Antigua and Barbuda people’s minds. Based on the International Labour Organization standards, that must be followed so that is a given, no need for them to come and say they are recommending such, it is standard. Learn dat from a useful idiot, you just ah come and ah charge up against I and I and you dumb as fucik. I could neva vote for UPP again y’all deceptive no ficukk, and y’all play on people’s minds, especially when dem nah know better. Thank Jah I man see the light.

  7. @Scott August 13, 2022 At 9:02 am
    You are wasting your time trying to explain to the UPP supporters economics 101. Just tell them the IMF will pay the increase in salary. They have plenty of money. Because that is where the UPP will take the country when small businesses close down or start to cut their payroll.

    • I don’t mind, I’m a glutton for punishment.
      I hope that what I perceive in that the UPP isn’t terribly popular is indeed true.

Comments are closed.