Barbados: The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) clearly supports a National Minimum Wage.
According to the DLP, it has always fought to fight to protect the working class within our society. But DLP is asking the government: Is the timing right?
While DLP agrees with a wage increase, DLP would hate to see more hard-working, tax-paying citizens lose their source of income in this harsh economic environment. The government cannot pave the way for more households to be without a revenue.
DLP stated that the plain truth is that the state does not control the private sector and cannot say with any surety that this initiative wouldn’t have adverse implications for employment numbers if implemented on April 1 this year, in the middle of a pandemic that they have mismanaged.
DLP has some questions that they have to ask from the current government is
Will more jobs are lost, Who will re-employ these persons on the breadline, Will the adversely affected persons qualify for unemployment benefits, Does NIS have the money to pay them.
The timing of seeming to increase the minimum wage is flawed and is being advanced when most of the population is unemployed. The DLP encourages the government to turn its attention to the current affairs affecting citizens who are barely existing.
DLP hears about the overwhelming cries for help at the welfare department. People are in serious need, and the government should put this at the top of their priority. Wage negotiations can be tabled later.
The government’s focus at this time must be on financial support, creating jobs, and feeding our nation.
By now, this government should be well aware of the high reliance of the vulnerable on the school meals service, and taxpayers’ money was budgeted for school meals within the Ministry of Education’s budget. Where is this money being diverted? This department is too important to have all its pots and pans turned down at this time.
There is a stark realization on the ground that the government is not in tune with. These are critical times for the average citizen. Yet, the government is off on a wild goose chase with minimum wage in a high unemployment environment while pertinent issues are left unaddressed. How is a minimum salary relevant if you’re not working?
The DLP is requesting the government to get its act together and address current and real societal issues.