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Bridge wage gap

Shalveen Chand
Monday, July 14, 2014

ECONOMIST and Fiji Labour Party candidate Dr Rohit Kishore believes one of the major steps that need to be taken to curb poverty is to bridge the wage gap between the top order of salary earners and those on the opposite end.

"There is a huge gap in wages relativity in this country.

"The people on top, both in government and the private sector get very high wages, for example, ministers, permanent secretaries and company directors, whereas workers at the middle and bottom end get too less," Dr Kishore said.

"This is why a lot of people migrate from Fiji, especially labourers who go on to earn a decent living abroad.

"In Fiji these people perhaps would have earned $1.50 to $2.50 an hour but they go on to earn $10 to $15 an hour in overseas countries, with a lower cost of living.

"The current government actually lowered the National Minimum Wage to $2 from the recommended $2.50 by the consultant.

"Also, whilst big and better countries have either relaxed or removed compulsory retirement policy, this government has lowered retirement age to 55."

Dr Kishore said most people at age 55 still had children in school and were paying home mortgages.

"The early retirement has pushed numerous civil servants in driving taxis and doing ordinary jobs to make ends meet.

"Also, the lowering of the FNPF pension has further impacted on the lives of these people and their families," he said.

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