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Federation endorses new figure

Torika Tokalau
Friday, January 31, 2014

THE National Minimum Wage (NMW) of $2 per hour announced yesterday was long overdue, says Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation CEO Nesbitt Hazelman.

Mr Hazelman said they had been waiting for some time for government to announce the wage rate.

"After the survey was done we were opposed to accept the proposed $2.32 but we made representation with the minister on this issue," he said.

"We endorse the minimum wage as an economy-strengthening measure. Basically, we believe government has given new considerations to the informal sector where this will hit the most."

He said the new rate meant protection for the informal sector, which covered shopkeepers, those who work in the market, farms and cane fields.

"In this day and age with costs rising, government has already put in place other social measures in terms of bus fares and food vouchers which all help in the alleviation of poverty.

"The fact that government has increased the tax threshold also is an indication they would like more money to go into individual's pockets."

Mr Hazelman said the new wage rate was fair and could be managed by the informal and formal sectors.

"We need to make a more concerted effort to improve productivity. We need to work smarter and grow our business and it comes through training offered by institutions."

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