THE former Wages Council chairman Father Kevin Barr has commended the government's effort to set-up a minimum wage baseline for workers in the country.
In a consultation forum at Suva's Holiday Inn, Fr Barr said the suggestion by Commerce Commission chairman Dr Mahendra Reddy who conducted the survey was commendable.
"It's complimented. A lot of good work has been done in getting all that together.
"This government has put good statistics and has shown very clearly why we have so much poverty in the country," Fr Barr said.
He said according to the survey results, a lot of people in the country were poor and have not had their minimum wages enforced.
"What he is getting out in the whole study is the national minimum wage and coming up with the figure of $2.32 as a national minimum wage."
Fr Barr said though the rate was far away from the poverty line, it was a good way to increase wages for some workers.
"It's a good start but it's not the end so we are hoping that in years to come, national minimum wage would increase and bring people above the poverty line."
He said people who earned below the minimum wage rate were not able to get decent housing, lacked health care and tend to criminal activities.
"Workers would want to work harder if they get better wages and would increase productivity."