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Usamate hits back

Aqela Susu
Wednesday, September 13, 2017

THE Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations, Jone Usamate, has labelled National Federation Party leader Professor Biman Prasad's comments on the implementation of the revised national minimum wage as "rubbish".

In a statement on Sunday, Prof Prasad claimed the implementation of the $2.68 national minimum wage by Government was a deception.

Prof Prasad said the reality was that the new minimum wage rate was a farce because it was only increased by 26 cents per hour from $2.42.

He said it was preposterous for Mr Usamate to claim that the new minimum wage rate would benefit 150,000 workers in the informal sector compared with what the cabinet ministers were getting.

"Furthermore, even the implementation of the minimum age rate has been a failure," he claimed.

"In our view, the ministry has failed to enforce the minimum rate on many businesses and employers and this failure will continue in the implementation of the new rate of $2.68."

However, Mr Usamate said when they implemented the national wage, they consulted all the relevant stakeholders.

"There's nothing that's a deception. Whatever they are saying is absolute rubbish," he said.

"As we implement these things, we take into account the needs of the small businesses that have to adjust how they do things.

"Our delaying it this way will make sure that when we implement it, everybody knows well in advance about what has to happen so we can be fair with everybody," Mr Usamate said outside Parliament on Monday.

The national minimum wage will be implemented on September 30.

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