On April 1st, the Government of Barbados will increase the country’s minimum wage from $6.25 to $8.50 an hour or $340 per week.
The announcement was made by Prime Minister Mia Mottley while delivering the 2021-2022 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.
“April 1 will not be an April Fool’s joke, for those earning minimum wages in this country. It will be a new deal, not an April’s fool joke,” she said.
She added; “there are some wages that some people cannot support their families on and that is why this Government is making the decision to go this route.”
While acknowledging the concerns raised in the business community, Mottley insists that the government must stand by its most vulnerable to ensure “a fair wage or even a livable wage”.
She issued a stern warning to those who will seek to hike up prices as a result.
“Those people who want to arbitrarily, even before this thing is given a chance carry up prices, rest assured we have eyes, we have hands, we have a voice and we have Parliament.”
“I am not going to agree that people are going to be unfaired in this country because this Government is doing the right thing which should have been done by a government of Barbados to protect those at the bottom of the working chain in this country with unreasonably low wages,”she continued.
The Prime Minister revealed that the process was almost complete. She said the proposal has already been examined by a blue-ribbon committee, Cabinet, and published in accordance with legislation.