The new minimum wage rates announced by the government for the country's workers are disappointing, says former Wages Council chairman Father Kevin Barr.
Father Barr said it was sad to note that the inflation rate, increase in value added tax, and the delay of the Wages Regulation Order were not taken into account.
"VAT has increased by 2.5 per cent and the cost of living continues to increase. The new minimum wage rate is simply not fair," he said.
Father Barr said giving the increases in percentage was misleading.
"By putting the increases in percentages, the government is hiding the fact that the wage increases are very low. It is like increasing the pay of some workers by 11 cents or 20 cents," he said.
Father Barr said alleviating poverty could not be achieved with such small increases.
"Increasing wages by such low figures is simply making a joke of government's commitment of alleviating poverty," Father Barr stated.
He said the wage increases being small were not encouraging workers to be more productive.
Father Barr said giving hotel and catering workers an increment of 7.9 per cent was not fair considering it was a billion dollar industry.
"It is scandalising the tourism industry and abusing the workers," he said.
Meanwhile, the last wage increase was in 2011 and varied for various sectors.