PNP wants a 60 per cent increase in minimum wage

People’s National Party, Dr. Peter Phillips

Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips is calling for an increase in the weekly minimum wage to $12,500 from $7,000.

In his annual new year’s message, Dr Phillips said the present minimum wage is inadequate, and a major contributor to urban poverty.

“Today, I am giving notice that the Opposition will be demanding and fighting for the minimum wage to be increased to $12,500,” he said.

He added: “With the significant fall in the value of the Jamaican dollar and the rise in prices for basic items, the low wages keep too many workers poor, as does the increasingly widespread practice of treating many full-time workers as contract workers. This denies them the fair wages and benefits to which they would otherwise be entitled.”

The minimum wage was last increased on August 1, 2018 to $7,000 from $6,200. Security guards’ minimum hourly rates were increased to $9,700, from $8,854.